By Paul Hines
MT. VERNON —
Carbondale topped the Lady Rams 57-54 Thursday night at Changnon Gymnasium.
The Lady Rams had a chance to tie the game with seconds left on the clock. As Mt. Vernon was scrambling for a last-second shot, Clare Ryan knocked in a 3-pointer. But just before the shot, Mt. Vernon coach Jeff Lonnon was awarded a timeout, which nullified the attempt. After the timeout, Mt. Vernon found Ryan off an inbound pass but her shot at the buzzer dropped short.
“We were disorganized,” Mt. Vernon coach Jeff Lonnon said. “We had a timeout left. We got it across the half line. I looked at our spacing. I looked at where everybody was at on the floor. I didn't like it, and I took a timeout.
“I was just trying to do the right thing and get us organized.”
Courtney Scarbrough finished the game with 27 points and six rebounds to lead all scorers. She paced the Lady Rams offense throughout the game, slicing through Carbondale defenders.
“She did everything she could to get us a victory tonight,” Lonnon said. “And it's unfortunate it wasn't quite enough.”
Mt. Vernon led throughout the opening half. The Lady Terriers took an early 3-0 edge, but Mt. Vernon stormed back. Carbondale's Kandace Jones was whistled for a technical foul two minutes into the game, and Scarbrough hit a pair of free throws to put the Lady Rams up 6-3. Mt. Vernon extended its run to 8-0 after another bucket from Scarbrough, who had 14 first-half points.
Carbondale tied the game late in the opening period at 14 before Mt. Vernon took a 16-14 lead into the second quarter after a bucket from Ryan.
Ryan gave the Lady Rams a 23-18 edge three minutes into the second quarter. Mt. Vernon had another five-point edge later in the second at 27-22 , but the Lady Terriers answered with a run. Carbondale ripped off a 13-2 surge to end the half with a 35-29 advantage.
Mt. Vernon stayed closed throughout the second half as the Lady Terriers kept a lead but shook free from Mt. Vernon.
In the final minute, Mt. Vernon was able to close the gap. Courtney Scarbrough hit a 3-pointer to make the score 55-52 in the final minute. Ryan kept the deficit at three with a jumper from the baseline with 17 seconds left.
Achsah Greer led Carbondale with 14 points. McKena Miller added 13, and Kaili Bacon finished with 12.
“I thought Greer was the one that hurt us more than anybody, but Greer's been playing well lately,” Lonnon said.
Mt. Vernon is 8-5 this season and 5-1 in South Seven Conference play.