Skippers down Oakland

Donald Lierman          

Sports Editor

   Not in our house. The week before Oakland handled the Skippers easily to split the league series. The return match for the opening MCCAA tournament game was a much different story. 

   The SC4 Lady Skippers downed the Oakland Raiders, 66-55 on February 24 to avenge last week’s 15 point defeat.

   The first half was a tale of tenacious Lady Skippers’ defense followed by an icy touch at the other end of the court.

   “I have never been associated with a team that had five defensive stops due to shot clock violations,” SC4 Coach Carrie Lohr said. “We had five in the first half then went cold on the offensive side. You can’t fault our players from trying to get some quick shots in.”

   SC4’s biggest lead was four as the half ended with the Lady Skippers in front 24-20.

   The second half was wider open from both a scoring and physical perspective. The Lady Skippers took advantage of their fast break speed to surge to leads as much as 18 in the second half. Oakland battled back to cut the lead to 62-55 on a series of three pointers.

   SC4’s Chanahl Putnum nailed five points and SC4’s Jessica Stevenson shot four clutch free throws in the final minutes to seal the victory. Oakland play became more physical as the time melted away.

   “I was a little disappointed in the Oakland play as the game ended,” Lohr said. “I think their frustration got the best of them. That was unexpected in a team of that stature.”

   SC4 players were satisfied with the result.

   “Our entire team including our bench worked together,” SC4’s Jessica Stevenson said.  “We were a family out there and that’s what we needed to win the game.”

   Stevenson’s 21 points would lead the Lady Skippers. Lady Skippers’ Jackie Highstreet added 18 points and a team-leading twelve rebounds.

   “Our team did a great job in keeping our composure at the end,” SC4’s Megan Johnson said. “We were gunning for them after last week’s game and we were ready for them.”

   The Lady Skippers face number one in the nation Schoolcraft Friday for the MCCAA Eastern Conference title.

   “I think that Schoolcraft is not too worried about us,” Lohr said. “But I’m excited by our play tonight. If we can bring that emotion to Friday’s game I think we will be competitive.”

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