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The SCHS girls’ basketball team wasn’t picked anywhere near the top of the 8th Region in the preseason, but teams should know not to sleep on the Lady Rockets (1-1).
They topped consensus region preseason favorite South Oldham (0-2), 50-47, in overtime Friday behind a suffocating defensive effort.
“I told the girls that if won that game, they’d be 1-0 because the loss at Carroll County was my fault,” SCHS Coach Phillip Conder said.
South Oldham managed just eight points in the fourth quarter and overtime combined, as the Lady Rockets picked up steam.
Taylor Shaw and Marissa Raisor each had four points in a 12-0 run during the first five minutes of the fourth quarter that helped Shelby County force the extra period with the score tied at 45.
Shayla Bolin’s free throw put Shelby on top, 46-45, and the girls never trailed in OT. After two free throws by Souht Oldham cut the lead to one, 48-47, the Lady Rockets got two free throws from Dee Dee Davis to set the final score.
Taylor Shaw’s block with 3.9 seconds forced South Oldham to take a timeout, and Jordann McGuffin’s 3-point shot bounced off the rim.
Conder said the team’s effort on defense was outstanding.
“They’ve been working very, very hard on our match-up zone,” he said. “When I saw South Oldham resetting plays because of the defense, I knew we were playing well because they couldn’t identify our defense.”
The difference between their match-up zone against South Oldham and Carroll County was simple, Conder said.
“We did a much, much better job protecting the middle and making them beat us from the outside.”
Conder said he knew South Oldham struggled from the outside after scouting them earlier.
“We thought if we could force them to shoot from the outside, we had a shot,” he said. “That and we couldn’t let them turn us over with their press.”
To combat South’s press, the Lady Rockets got slower.
“Instead of grabbing the ball out of the net and trying to go, we wanted to make sure our press break was set up,” he said. “We wanted them to get the ball out of the net, get it to the official, and then we’d go.”
The Lady Rockets used a 12-2 run in the second quarter to grab a 26-23 lead at halftime. South Oldham fought back with a dominating third quarter, outscoring Shelby, 16-6, and seemed to take control of the game, leading 39-32 going into the fourth.
Conder said the Lady Rockets got rushed in the third, giving South the opportunity they’d been looking for.
“We got in too much of a hurry and let their press bother us,” he said. “Once we slowed down, we did a better job of beating the press, and they had to call it off a few times.”
Now the Lady Rockets have to put this win behind them.
“I told them to celebrate Friday night, but that’s it,” Conder said. “I don’t want this to be our biggest win of the season. We want to peak in February and March.”