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Lady Cougars survive Salem scare

By DAVID GRAVELY

sports@southwesttimes.com

 

SALEM – It wasn’t pretty, but they got the job done. The Pulaski County Lady Cougar basketball team survived a furious fourth quarter by Salem High School to hang on for a 52-50 victory over the home standing Spartans.

 

“I’ll take an ugly win over a pretty loss every day,” Lady Cougar Head Coach Bradley Sutphin said. “Salem has some girls with talent and they hustled. With some of the mistakes we made we were fortunate to get out of there with the win, but I’ll take it.”

 

Things started off slowly for both teams, but Salem led 13-11 at the end of the first period. Pulaski County kept up the fight in the second period and the two teams headed to the locker room tied at 26-26 at the half.

 

The Lady Cougars did a lot of things right in the third period, outscoring Salem 18-8 to lead 44-34 going into the final period. The Lady Spartans put their foot on the gas in the fourth, outscoring Pulaski County 16-8.

 

The big moment of the game came with just 14 seconds remaining in the game.  With the Lady Cougars trailing 49-50 freshman Ally Fleenor hit a bucket and free throw to give Pulaski County the two-point lead. A last second shot attempt by the Lady Spartans was no good, preserving the 52-50 win for the Lady Cougars.

 

Fleenor scored 19 points to lead the Lady Cougars. Junior Maddie Ratcliff scored 11 points. Freshman Taryn Blankenship and junior Kassidy Secrist scored eight points each. Freshman Erin Russell hit two three-pointers to add six points.

 

Katie Evans scored a game high 20 points to lead the Lady Spartans. MCKenzie Moran added 14 points.

 

With the win the Lady Cougars improve to 10-3 on the season and 4-1 in River Ridge District play. Salem falls to 4-8 overall and 1-4 in the district.

 

In JV action the younger Lady Cougars moved to 12-1 on the season with a 35-17 win in the opening game of the night.

 

Eighth-grader Keslyn Secrist led the way with 12 points. Freshman Courtney Cregger was right on her heels with 11 points. Eighth-graders Paige Huff and Tori Vest added five and two points, respectively. Sophomore Aubry O’Dell kicked in three points and freshman Hailey Capps scored two.

 

The Lady Cougars were scheduled to travel to Fort Chiswell for a rematch against the Lady Pioneers Wednesday and will host Christiansburg Friday. JV action begins at 5:30 followed by the varsity contest at 7 p.m.

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