By PAUL HINES
MT. VERNON —
The Lady Rams used a stifling defense to beat Althoff 33-22 Monday night.
Mt. Vernon held Althoff to 11 of 51 from the field in the game. Mt. Vernon’s Hannah Owens held Althoff’s Kymber Hill, a future Division-I player, to three of eight from the floor and six points.
“We just decided we were going to play them straight up and see if we could handle them,” Mt. Vernon coach Jeff Lonnon said. “We kind of side stepped them in the (Mascoutah) tournament. We tried to play some zone and some triangle (and two).”
The Lady Rams never trailed in the game and took a 7-0 lead to start the game. Kelby Kujawa, Claire Ryan and Courtney Scarbrough all contributed to the early offense.
The Lady Rams held a 15-12 lead at halftime and behind Scarbrough’s hot shooting in the third pushed their advantage to double digits midway through the quarter. Scarbrough hit all three of her shots in the period for seven of her team high 13 points. The scoring helped Mt. Vernon take a 24-14 edge into the final period.
“Our guards just found enough points to win, and Hannah just did what she had to do in the post with (Hill),” Lonnon said.
Aaliyah Palmer took over the scoring in the fourth, hitting all her attempts for six points and eight in the game. Althoff cut the Mt. Vernon lead to 28-20 after a driving basket from Alexa Wilson but never got closer.
The Lady Rams tried to repeatedly drive the ball to the basket in the game, hoping to attack the middle of the Althoff defense.
“We just couldn’t get anything with our sets,” Lonnon said. “We just couldn’t get anything. We got a couple things early, and then I think they kind of woke up and started playing better defense. Then when that happened we just really struggled to get anything going.”
Mt. Vernon is 13-3 overall this season and 5-0 in South Seven Conference games. The victory came after Mt. Vernon lost to Althoff in the Mascoutah Invitational Tournament after Christmas.