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home : sports : sports May 26, 2016

3/6/2013 10:17:00 AM
Lady Statesmen lose in final seconds, 57-55
JOSH BROWN
Sports Editor

Another game between Lincoln Trail and Shawnee Community College's women's basketball teams resulted in another close contest.

The two teams split a pair of regular season matchups, with each winning on their own court, but Lincoln Trail could not defend its homecourt again Monday.

The Lady Statesmen erased a 10-point second-half deficit, but gave up the winning basket with 2.2 seconds left to drop a 57-55 decision in the first round of NJCAA Region 24 Tournament action.

"We had to fight from behind and it took us about 35 minutes to catch up," LTC head coach Scott Sparks said. "We finally did, then we traded baskets and never could get all the way over the hump."

The game was close throughout much of the contest, but Lincoln Trail never held the lead at any point.

Shawnee scored the first five points of the game and never trailed, while Lincoln Trail struggled early. Lara Benningfield scored the first points for the Lady Statesmen on two free throws with 17:10 to play. However, LTC missed its first 10 field goal attempts, before Danielle Nettleton knocked down a three-pointer at the 15:15 mark to pull the Lady Statesmen to within 7-5. Shawnee answered with an 8-2 run to take a 15-7 lead, but Lincoln Trail got three-point plays from Andrea Rivera and Benningfield to pull within 15-13 to with 10:58 to go.

The Lady Statesmen were still within three, 23-20, with 4:45 to play, but Shawnee then scored eight of the next 10 points to push the lead to 31-22 with 2:45 left. However, Ted'ra Taborn scored three straight points for LTC, then after a free throw by Shawnee, Kelsie Coleman made two free throws with 12 seconds left to pull the Lady Statesmen to within 32-27 at halftime.

Lincoln Trail closed the gap to three, 38-35, on two free throws by Benningfield with 15:55 remaining, but Shawnee followed with an 11-4 run to take their biggest lead of the game, 49-39, with 10:50 to go. Not to be outdone, the Lady Statesmen responded with a 13-3 run over the next seven minutes, including eight straight at one point. Kristin Henry started the run with a putback, then after a Shawnee free throw, Coleman converted a three-point play to trim the margin to 50-44 with 9:49 left. After a basket by Shawnee, Nettleton drained a three-pointer from the right corner at the 8:12 mark, then Benningfield drove in the lane, made a spin move and laid the ball in to get the Lady Statesmen to within 52-49 with 6:10 remaining. After two missed free throws by Shawnee, Benningfield made one free throw to pull LTC to within two, then after a steal by Henry, Gabrielle Duncan took a pass from Nettleton and converted to tie the game at 52-52 with 3:33 to play.

Shawnee's Ashley Matlock answered with a three-pointer from the right wing to put her team back in front with 2:26 to play, but Duncan countered for LTC with a three-pointer of her own to even the score at 55-55 with 2:05 to go.

The teams would trade turnovers and missed shots, but LTC regained possession with 48.2 seconds left. Lincoln Trail worked for a shot and got one, but it was blocked and the shot clock expired before the Lady Statesmen could get another attempt off, giving the ball back to Shawnee with 23.4 seconds left. Matlock would misfire for Shawnee and Rivera rebounded, but as she dribbled up the floor, the ball was knocked away and Shawnee recovered the loose ball and called time-out with 7.2 seconds left to set up a final play.

"We called time-out with 48 seconds to go and couldn't have drawn the play up any better," Sparks said. "We had a layup, but lost control of the ball and got a shot clock violation. Then, we fought back, played good defense and got the rebound, but the ball got knocked loose. I tried to call time-out, but as I did she lost the handle and it was too late."

Matlock got the ball out front and drove into the lane, putting a shot through the net with 2.2 seconds left for a 57-55 lead. Lincoln Trail quickly inbounded the ball, but could not get a shot off before the clock expired, bringing their season to an end.

"We let their best player do what we didn't want to do, which was go left right down the lane," Sparks said. "I trusted our defense would get a stop, because I didn't want to foul and them get the ball out of bounds and put it into a position where they could draw another foul and get to the line."

Despite the loss, Sparks was pleased with the effort, just not the results.

"It was good to be in that position at the end of a close game," Sparks said. "We did a good job executing things, we just didn't hit shots we normally hit."

Neither team shot the ball well, but Shawnee made a few more shots than the Lady Statesmen. Lincoln Trail made just 19-63 field goal attempts (30 percent), including 15-42 from two-point range (36 percent) and 4-21 from three-point range (19 percent), while Shawnee made 25-63 shots from the floor (40 percent), which included a 20-41 performance from inside the arc (49 percent) and a 5-22 effort from long distance (23 percent). The Lady Statesmen did have a big advantage at the free throw line, making 13-16 foul shots (81 percent), while Shawnee was just 2-6 at the charity stripe (33 percent), but it was not enough.

Benningfield led LTC with 18 points, 12 rebounds, three steals and one blocked shot, while Coleman posted nine points, four rebounds and one blocked shot. Taborn netted eight points, 10 rebounds and two assists, Nettleton totaled eight points, five assists, four rebounds, one steal and one blocked shot, Duncan contributed five points, three rebounds, two assists and one steal, Rivera recorded five points, two rebounds, two assists and one steal and Henry collected two points, 11 rebounds, two steals and two assists.

Matlock led Shawnee with 25 points, eight rebounds, five steals and three assists and was the only player in double figures for the Lady Saints, who will play top-seeded Southwestern Illinois College in the first of four quarterfinal games at Rend Lake College today at 1. The rest of the schedule includes fourth-seeded Olney Central against fifth-seeded Rend Lake at 3 p.m., second-seeded Kaskaskia against seventh-seeded Southeastern Illinois at 5 p.m. and third-seeded Wabash Valley against sixth-seeded John A. Logan at 8 p.m.

Lincoln Trail ended its season with a 1-28 record. Even though it may not reflect in their record, Sparks noted there were positives this season.

"We found our rotation as the season went on and the team gelled well," Sparks said. "I can't say enough about these kids. All the sophomores will graduate and they all have really good grades and are good kids. I know their hearts are broken, because they want to win as bad as anybody. I feel for them, but not once did we hang our heads and throw in the towel. They all stuck it out together and that is what I am most proud of."



2013 NJCAA Region 24 Women's Basketball Tournament

First Round

At LTC Sports Center, Robinson

Shawnee Community College 32 25 - 57

Lincoln Trail College 27 28 - 55



SHAWNEE (57)

Skylar Blake 1-2 1-3 0-0 5, Destiny Dillow 1-3 1-2 0-0 5, Emily Terbrak 3-3 0-0 0-0 6, Brianna Terrell 0-0 0-2 0-0 0, Ortres Bridges 3-5 0-1 0-0 6, Allison Garrett 3-8 0-3 0-0 6, Tori Burton 0-4 0-1 1-2 1, Ashley Matlock 8-14 3-10 0-0 25, Karley O'Donley 0-1 0-0 0-0 2, Lateesha Baquet 1-1 0-0 1-2 3, TOTALS 20-41 2FG, 5-22 3FG, 2-6 FT, 57 TP.

LINCOLN TRAIL (55)

Danielle Nettleton 1-3 2-5 0-0 8, Kristin Henry 1-7 0-0 0-0 2, Andrea Rivera 1-2 1-8 0-0 5, Kelsie Coleman 3-3 0-0 3-3 9, Lara Benningfield 5-12 0-0 8-9 18, Gabrielle Duncan 1-2 1-8 0-0 5, Ted'ra Taborn 3-13 0-0 2-4 8, TOTALS 15-42 2FG, 4-21 3FG, 13-16 FT, 55 TP.

Turnovers - SCC 18, LTC 19. Team fouls - SCC 14, LTC 9. Fouled out - Terbrak. Technical foul - O'Donley, Benningfield. Rebounds - (SCC 39) Matlock 8, Burton 6, Dillow 5, Blake 4, Garrett 4. (LTC 46) Benningfield 12, Henry 11, Taborn 10, Nettleton 4, Coleman 4, Duncan 3, Rivera 2. Steals - (SCC 14) Matlock 5, Bridges 4. (LTC 8) Benningfield 3, Henry 2, Nettleton, Rivera, Duncan. Assists - (SCC 12) Blake 5, Matlock 3, Bridges 2. (LTC 13) Nettleton 5, Henry 2, Rivera 2, Duncan 2, Taborn 2. Blocked shots - (SCC 5) Terbrak 3, Blake, Baquet. (LTC 3) Nettleton, Coleman, Benningfield.

Next game - Lincoln Trail ended its season with a 1-28 record.





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