By Paul Hines
Courtney Scarbrough nailed six 3-pointers as Mt. Vernon opened the Mid-Winter Tournament with a 51-33 win against Mascoutah on Monday afternoon.
The victory avenged a loss earlier this season to Mascoutah at the Nashville Tournament.
“That was nice redemption for us,” Mt. Vernon coach Jeff Lonnon said. “And we're playing well right now.”
Scarbrough led all scorers with 21 points. Half of her long-range shots came in the third quarter and helped the Lady Rams pad their lead and pull away.
“When she gets in a shooting groove like that, it makes it real easy to get some other things going in the offense,” Lonnon said. “She had (six) threes today I believe, and that's the most 3-pointers I've ever had a kid make in a game I've ever coached. That says something for how rare that accomplishment is.”
Clare Ryan had nine points for Mt. Vernon. Ieisha Sanders added five points and seven rebounds. Hannah Owens finished with seven points and four rebounds.
The combination of Scarbrough and Ryan accounted for about 60 percent of the Lady Rams offense. The two also shot 11 of 15 from the field.
“Those two just have to keep working and trying to get better and keep doing their jobs because a lot of this is going to fall on their shoulders come regional time,” Lonnon said.
Mt. Vernon led nearly the entire game. Mascoutah seized a 4-2 edge early in the opening period, but the Lady Rams ended the quarter with a 10-0 run. Ryan capped the offensive surge with a layup in the final minute of the quarter. The burst gave Mt. Vernon a 12-4 advantage.
The Lady Rams held a comfortable margin throughout the second quarter and took a 25-16 lead into halftime.
Mascoutah opened the second half with a bucket to cut the deficit to 25-18, but the Lady Rams responded. Scarbrough nailed a trio of threes. Owens and Sanders added buckets in the third period to help Mt. Vernon take complete control of the game. Sanders' turnaround basket with 1:19 gave the Lady Rams a 41-24 lead.
Mt. Vernon hit 19 of 34 shots from the field.
Mt. Vernon is 9-5 overall this season and travels back to the Carbondale tournament at 6:30 p.m. Friday night and faces Massac County.