LUCASVILLE - Traditional wisdom says that a team with three seniors with experience has an advantage over a team with none.
Apparently no one has told that to South Webster.
The Lady Jeeps have no seniors, three juniors, two sophomores, and six freshmen but that didn't stop them from defeating the Lady Indians 56-42 Monday night on the road.
In fact, it was the South Webster freshmen that did most of the work to improve the Lady Jeeps to 3-1. The win gives South Webster one more win than they had all last year during a 2-19 campaign.
Freshman Kayla Cook led the Lady Jeeps despite having what coach Kristie Johnson called an off-night. Cook scored 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the win, impressing the opposing coach as well.
“She's going to be a coaches nightmare for a number of years,” said Valley coach Mark Merritt.
Cook had been averaging nearly 30 points per game this season but the Valley defense held her to six points in the first quarter as the Lady Indians led after one quarter
In the second quarter, the Lady Jeeps outscored Valley 11-5 to gain the lead.
“We didn't do what we were supposed to do,” said Merritt. “We didn't get back on defense and we didn't make our shots. That's been our Achilles heel.”
The Lady Indians shot 31 percent from the field but still made a run in the third quarter. With Valley trailing 28-23 Beth Martin, who didn't score in the first half, scored six unanswered points to regain the lead for the Lady Indians 29-28 but it would be short lived.
One minute and nine seconds later the Lady Jeeps found their own unsung hero. Freshmen Thea Culver scored one point in the first half, but ran off nine straight for the Jeeps to make the score 37-31. Culver finished with 12 points and seven rebounds.
One thing keeping the Lady Indians from gaining ground of South Webster was rebounding. The Lady Jeeps had a 45-24 edge on rebounding led by sophomore Erin Sherman. Sherman scored four points and had 12 rebounds. Junior Brittany Puckett scored five and pulled down seven rebounds.
“Valley is so talented and such a good team,” said Johnson. “We wanted to get this win because it was a conference game.”
Valley's Courtnie Merritt and Michelle Mains hit back to back 3s late in the fourth quarter to bring the Lady Indians within eight but that was as close as they would get. Courtnie Merritt scored 12 points with five rebounds in the loss. Aside from Martin and Courtnie Merritt no Lady Indian scored in double digits. The loss drops Valley to 1-3 and 1-2 in the SOC.
“We need Courtnie to do well for us to be successful,” said coach Merritt. “We need Beth to pick up her scoring and I know she will.”
The Lady Indians play Waverly on Thursday and South Webster plays at West on Thursday.
JOHN STEGEMAN can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 353-3101 ext. 203
South Webster 13 11 13 19 - 56
Valley 14 5 15 8 - 42
South Webster - Puckett 2 1 5, Moore 1 2 4, Culver 4 4 12, Sherman 1 2 4, Rawlins 2 0 4, Cook 8 9 2 2, Roark 1 2 4. Totals 19 20 56.
Valley - Mains 1 0 3, Hoover 0 1 1, Martin 6 1 13, Morntgomery 1 1 3, H. Merritt 2 0 4, C. Merritt 5 0 12, Arbaugh 2 0 4. Totals 17 3 42.
3-pointers - South Webster 0; Valley 3 (Hoover, C. Merritt 2)
Records - South Webster 3-1 (1-1); Valley 1-3 (1-2).