By Paul Hines
MT. VERNON —
The Lady Rams couldn't have gone into the Christmas break in a better way.
Tuesday night Mt. Vernon traveled south to Carbondale and scored a last-second win over the Lady Terriers. Mt. Vernon won the game 54-52, and Jazmine Hawkins beat the buzzer to give the Lady Rams the victory.
“I think Carbondale is as good a team we have in the conference right now talent-wise,” Mt. Vernon coach Jeff Lonnon said. “For us to go down there and win at their gym that's a big win for us. That's a good win for us.”
Courtney Scarbrough led Mt. Vernon with 18 points. Hannah Owens finished with 13, and Clare Ryan was in double figures with 12.
The Lady Rams held off Carbondale despite losing Owens, Ieisah Sanders and Miriam Hester to fouls late in the game.
“We're patching holes with young kids and just trying to get to the end and run clock,” Lonnon said.
McKenna Miller led the Lady Terriers with 22 points and had 18 in the second half. She kept playing in the game, despite having two teeth knocked out, Lonnon said.
“You really have to tip your hat to a kid like that because she basically lost two teeth and just kept playing,” Lonnon said.
The victory keeps the Lady Rams record a perfect 4-0 in South Seven Conference play. A season ago the team was 9-1 in conference action and won the title. Overall this season Mt. Vernon is 7-2.
“You have to win on the road, if you're going to win conference championships and do well,” Lonnon said. “You just have to win, and then you have to hold serve on your home court. But when you can win on the road that makes it even more special.”
Mt. Vernon won't play a game again until after Christmas when the Lady Rams travel to the Mascoutah tournament. Mt. Vernon opens play at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 26 against Belleville East.
“The Mascoutah tournament is kind of the who's who's in basketball, especially the 3 and 4A level in this part of the state,” Lonnon said. “If you go to Mascoutah and do well, you've really accomplished something.”