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Lady Vandals fall to Greenville in SCC action

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By Andrew Harner

The Lady Vandals will celebrate their four seniors on Thursday prior to the game against Roxana.

Morgan Whightsil, Amber Bruno, Haley Cothern and Abby Dugan will all be recognized prior to the South Central Conference contest.

Coach Michelle McNary said that last season’s game at Roxana is one the team should have won, so she believes that if her team plays well, it can snap its five-game losing streak.

Roxana is 13-10 (2-5 SCC) this season.

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VANDALIA – The Lady Vandals made just three field goals in the first half of Tuesday’s South Central Conference game against Greenville.

But because of 13 free-throw attempts, they trailed by just three at halftime.

Greenville scored on its final three possessions of the third quarter, including a buzzer-beating jumper from Maria Reinhard, however, and that propelled the Lady Comets to a 57-41 victory.

Vandalia made 11 of its first-half free throws, but only had two additional attempts in the second half, which hurt on a night the team struggled to shoot.

“That’s what kept us in the game in the first half, but we never got to the line in second half, other than on a shooting foul,” said coach Michelle McNary, whose team committed 10 of the 13 fouls called in the second half.

“That wasn’t to our advantage.”

Greenville’s Kassidy Alderman made deep 3-pointers  on each of the Lady Comets’ first three possessions of the game as part of an 11-0 run that opened the game.

She and Reinhard would lead the game in scoring, with 18 points each.

“They have some nice shooters,” McNary said. “We would have been better off playing a zone, but you can’t play zone if they can make it from the gray volleyball line.”

Vandalia’s deficit was 10 at the end of the first period, which didn’t see the team make a field goal, but an opportunity was opened because Greenville (15-8, 4-4 SCC) had already committed seven fouls.

A second-chance layup 40 seconds into the second quarter held Greenville’s margin steady after junior Kaitlyn

Kershaw hit a turn-around jumper in the paint, but Vandalia (8-16, 1-6 SCC) would use a 9-2 run over the remainder of the quarter to take a 20-17 deficit into halftime.

Junior Morgan Cripe picked up her third foul less than a minute into the second half, and McNary elected to keep on the bench in hopes of keeping her fresh for a fourth-quarter rally.

But then the Lady Comets closed the third period on an 8-0 run to make it a 10-point game going to the final eight minutes.

“We starting forcing shots instead of taking good open shots,” McNary said. “We miss and they make, then the gap starts getting wider, and against a good team, 10 points is a lot to come back from.”

Reinhard, who had 33 points in last season’s game between the teams, scored eight of her points in the fourth quarter, as Greenville added an additional 20 points to its tally.

Senior Amber Bruno led Vandalia with 14 points, five rebounds and three steals. Kershaw added seven points, and was one of four players with three rebounds.

“We are playing hard, but things aren’t falling our way at the end of the game,” McNary said. “Some of the girls are frustrated, because they are working hard but not seeing anything out of it.”

Tuesday, Jan. 22
Greenville 57
Vandalia 41
G: 16-4-19-20—57
V: 6-11-10-14—41
Points: Bruno, 14; Kershaw, 7; Karlie Bright, 5; Cripe, 5; Madelyn Hosick, 5; Makayla Tinker, 2.
Rebounds: Bruno, 5; Haley Cothern, 3; Cripe, 3; Hosick, 3; Kershaw, 3; Bright, 2; Abby Dugan, 2; Tinker, 1; Team, 1.
Assists: Tinker, 2; Bright, 1; Bruno, 1; Cripe, 1; Randi Evans, 1; Hosick, 1; Morgan Whightsil, 1.
Steals: Bruno, 3; Cothern, 1; Cripe, 1.
Blocks: Cripe, 1; Hosick, 1.
Record: 8-16 (1-6 SCC)

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An 8-0 run to start second half allowed Litchfield to break a 22-22 tie and helped the Lady Panthers to a 50-40 South Central Conference victory against Vandalia on Monday.

Senior Amber Bruno paced the Lady Vandals with 18 points, but the 18-point outburst in the third period for Litchfield proved to be too much to overcome.

Junior Morgan Cripe added eight points, and freshman Makayla Tinker had seven, as the Lady Vandals dropped to 8-15 (1-5 SCC).

Monday, Jan. 21
Litchfield 50
Vandalia 40
V: 10-12-8-10—40
L: 13-9-18-10—50
Points: Bruno, 18; Cripe, 8; Tinker, 7; Morgan Whightsil, 4; Karlie Bright, 3.
Record: 8-15 (1-5 SCC)