Originally Posted Online: Dec. 05, 2012, 10:33 pm
Last Updated: Dec. 05, 2012, 11:36 pm

Tigers fend off second-half Orion rally to remain perfect

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By Terry Duckett, tduckett@qconline.com

SHERRARD -- It was far from a perfect performance Wednesday night, but it was enough to keep the Sherrard Tigers perfect in the win-loss column.

Despite hitting on just 7-of-39 shots after a 17-point first quarter, the Tigers took advantage of the turnovers and foul trouble that plagued Orion as well as a strong second quarter by senior point guard Carly Adams. That led to a 46-41 victory by Sherrard over their West Central North girls' basketball rivals at Harry Hunt Gymnasium.

With Sherrard (8-0, 2-0 WCC North) up by eight after the opening period, Adams stepped up to score nine of her team-high 13 points in the second quarter, including a three-point play that came after the Chargers (4-3, 1-1) had closed an 11-point deficit down to 20-16. Adams' efforts helped the hosts to hold a 29-21 halftime edge.

"We didn't play our best game; it took us a while to get going,'' said Adams, who also had three steals. "But it's Orion; it's always a big game between us. I just tried to do my job, to get a little momentum going. Orion is obviously a good team, and we knew they'd push us.''

That showed in the third quarter. With Sherrard missing its first six shots of the second half, Orion went on a 10-1 run culminating in a Katie Garrity 3-pointer with 3:44 left in the period that closed the gap to 31-30. However, Tiger senior guard Erin Barton banked in a 3-ball to answer Garrity's trey, helping her team to hold a 35-32 edge entering the final eight minutes.

"That was a big shot,'' said Sherrard coach Doug Swanson, who also got 10 points and five rebounds from Riley Strandgard and nine boards from Annie Winston. "In games where things aren't going your way, you need a little pick-me-up like that, and we got it from Erin.''

Added Orion coach John McBride, "We had just made a 3 to cut it to one, so (Barton's 3-ball) hurt us a bit. That was a big shot at a big time.''

Sherrard looked ready to sprint to the finish in the fourth quarter, with a Libby Frye three-point play helping the hosts take a 40-32 lead. Once again, the Chargers countered as consecutive Cassidy Clark buckets and a pair of Clark free throws made it 40-38 with 3:22 remaining.

However, Garrity missed a pair of free throws that would have tied the score, and Sherrard worked its way to a five-point lead as Clark would eventually foul out late in the game. The Chargers did make it 43-41 with 58 seconds left to play, but could never gain the lead.

"That was a huge time in the game,'' McBride said of the fifth foul by Clark, who posted 12 points and 11 rebounds to go with Garrity's 15 points and 12 boards.

Annawan 74, Ridgewood 36:Junior standout Celina VanHyfte powered her way to 24 points and classmate Megan Foes checked in with 12 as the Annawan Bravettes grabbed a 23-7 first-quarter lead en route to the Lincoln Trail Conference home romp past Ridgewood. Annawan also bagged six 3-pointers as it doubled up the Spartans, who were led by Jasmine Jefko's 10 points.

Wethersfield 59, Princeville 36:Sarah Hansen continued to have the hot hand with 19 points as the Wethersfield Lady Geese blitzed Lincoln Trail Conference rival Princeville, Kristen Parsons added 11 points to the win, with Kodi Hammer contributing 10.

ROWVA 45, Mercer County 32: A 25-10 lead at halftime by ROWVA led the Tigers past the Golden Eagles. Emma Johnson led ROWVA in scoring with 12 points. Michaela Baker had eight for Mercer County.

College women's basketball

St. Ambrose 68, Iowa Wesleyan 45: Lauren Cash's huge night propelled the Fighting Bees over Iowa Wesleyan. Cash had 23 points, seven rebounds and three steals.