Carbondale opened up a close game with a big final quarter for a 59-45 win against Mt. Vernon on Tuesday night.
The matchup was the 3A semifinals of the Massac County regional.
“Playing that game last night (against Centralia) just hurt us,” Mt. Vernon coach Jeff Lonnon said. “We came out of that game last night kind of beat up.
“We just ran out of gas. That's what Carbondale does to you.”
Ieisha Sanders led Mt. Vernon with 15 points. Hannah Owens added 11 points and 11 rebounds. Courtney Scarbrough finished with 14 points.
Carbondale's Kali Bacon led all scorers with 25 points and added 12 boards.
“They're just so balanced,” Lonnon said. “You can't really figure who's going to be their leading scorer on any given night.”
After trailing by double digits early in the game, Mt. Vernon was down just two points early in the fourth quarter when Scarbrough scored on a drive to the basket.
Carbondale responded with a 3-pointer from Achsah Greer and a layup from Skyler Miller to push the advantage to 47-40.
Later in the quarter, Scarbrough got the Lady Rams to within four at 47-43 with a three, but Mt. Vernon never got closer. Midway through the final quarter, the Lady Terriers extended their lead to double figures.
Both regular season games between the two South Seven Conference teams were close, and the early portion of Tuesday's game was no different as both teams grappled for control. Carbondale did extend a lead and ended the opening period with an offensive spurt to seize a 19-10 edge. The margin ballooned to 13 near the beginning of the second at 23-10.
Mt. Vernon chipped away at the deficit. Owens completed a three-point play to make the score 23-15. Scarbrough later canned an outside shot to make the margin 25-22. Scarbrough ended the half with a bucket to get the Lady Rams to within a point at 27-26.
“We knew we'd make a run or two,” Lonnon said. “But we also knew they would make a run or two. It just so happened they waited until the final quarter to make theirs.”
Mt. Vernon ended the season 15-10 overall.