By Paul Hines
MT. VERNON —
The Lady Rams scored a key 67-64 South Seven Conference home victory over Althoff on Thursday night.
The victory moved the Lady Rams conference mark to 6-1 this season. The win was also critical for a team that started the season 7-2 before a 2-6 stretch prior to the Thursday night win.
“We haven't been playing very well lately,” Mt. Vernon coach Jeff Lonnon said. “And that was a huge win. Because that's a good Althoff team.”
Courtney Scarbrough led Mt. Vernon with 22 points. The inside tandem of Hannah Owens and Ieisha Sanders dominated Althoff all game. The two combined to shoot 16 of 19 from the field. Owens had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Sanders added 16 points and three boards.
Mt. Vernon raced to a huge early lead. The Lady Rams took an 11-1 edge to start the game. The lead was 23-12 going into the second quarter.
“Our intensity was better than theirs in the first quarter,” Lonnon said. “We just outmatched their intensity and their hustle and because of that we were able to open up a sizable lead because that is what kind of what won us the game.”
The Lady Rams' comfortable cushion grew further in the second period. After a technical on the Althoff bench, Scarbrough sank a pair of free throws to make the score 36-16 with 1:58 left in the half.
Down 36-21 at half, Althoff made a second-half comeback. Mt. Vernon managed to hold a double-digit lead until late in the game.
Althoff sliced the Lady Rams edge down to 63-57 after a 3-pointer from Rachel Kaltwasser with 1:14 left in the game. She led all scorers with 28 points. Althoff got to within 67-64 in the final seconds and had a chance to send the game into overtime with a buzzer beater. Mt. Vernon's Paetyn Hayes knocked the ball way and the clock ran out.
Mt. Vernon is 10-8 this season and travels to Mattoon on Saturday.
Mt. Vernon's junior varsity team was a 50-46 winner to improve to 7-2 this year.