Shots won’t fall for Lady Rebels in loss

Published 1:01 am Saturday, January 16, 2010

NATCHEZ — Down just 34-32 with less than a minute to play, the Adams County Christian girls couldn’t buy a basket in the final 60 seconds to propel them to a win against district opponent Silliman Friday.

Silliman got two key free throws by Brittany Taylor with 21 seconds left, and another one by Sydney Sonnes with three seconds left to put the game away 37-32 in favor of the Lady Wildcats.

“We just couldn’t put the ball in the hole,” ACCS girls head coach Melanie Hall said. “We had good opportunities and looks, but it just wouldn’t fall.”

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The loss was a tough one for the Lady Rebels, who fell to 16-7 on the year, 3-2 in district play.

“I hate it for my kids,” Hall said. “We had a good week of practice, and I felt like we’d be ready to go tonight.”

Hall said a slow start in the first quarter made things difficult for her players to overcome.

“I felt like we came out in the first half a little sluggish,” Hall said. “I felt like Silliman out-scrapped us and out-rebounded us in the first.

“I was proud of how my girls bounced back in the second half. I felt that if we had played that way the whole game, it would have been a different outcome.”

Despite the slow start for the Lady Rebels, they actually lead Silliman 7-6 at the end of the first quarter. However, after an early 2-point basket by Rachel Holloway to start the second, ACCS would only go on to score four more points that quarter.

The Lady Wildcats, meanwhile, scored 13 points in the second to give them a 19-13 lead at intermission.

Not much happened for either team in the third quarter. ACCS’ Taylor Welch hit a layup, and Kaitlan Melton and Kristyn Arnold each had 2-pointers, but the scoring drought from the first half would otherwise continue.

The Lady Rebels’ defense, however, came on strong in the third, holding the Lady Wildcats to just six points that quarter and giving them a fighting chance going into the fourth.

Welch had a big fourth quarter for the Rebels, scoring six of her eight total points in the final eight minutes. Melton also had two key field goals between the two- and one-minute marks, which cut the Silliman lead to two.

Melton fouled out with 1:08 left in the game, however, which proved to be a huge loss for ACCS in the final minute of regulation.

“She just wanted the game so badly, and she fought hard,” Hall said. “She left it all on the court.”

Although the game had big implications for the district tournament, Hall stressed that there was still plenty of time to shape the Lady Rebels’ postseason destiny.

“I definitely sensed some nervousness from our players tonight, with it being a big district game,” Hall said.

“They just wanted it so badly. It would have put us in the driver’s seat for the district seeding if we had won, but there’s still a lot of ball to be played. We always give God the glory in victory or defeat, and hopefully there are some things we can learn from this game.”

Silliman 73, ACCS boys 58

Strong performances by Lee Swinney and Dylan Johnson were not enough for to overcome Silliman’s inside presence Friday night.

Swinney finished with 19 points and Johnson added 17 points, but the Rebels fell to 8-10, 2-3 on the season.

“We really didn’t have any answer to their inside game, because we were a little out-manned there with their size,” ACCS boys head coach Rick Fife said.

The ACCS boys and girls will play at Centreville Academy today at noon.