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Lady Vandals get OT win at Neoga

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VHS falls to Hillsboro in SCC game

By Andrew Harner

On Saturday, the Lady Vandals picked up an overtime win at Neoga.

Senior Amber Bruno had 32 points for Vandalia, which outscored Neoga, 11-0, in overtime of a 58-47 victory, snapping a three-game losing streak.

Junior Morgan Cripe added a season-high 12 points, and junior Megan Godoyo had a double-double with 13 rebounds and 11 points,

Vandalia (3-5) trailed 16-11 after the first quarter, but held Neoga to just two points in the second period to take a 28-18 halftime lead.

The Lady Indians stormed back in the second half, however, outscoring the Lady Vandals, 29-19, to force the extra period.

Madison Butler had 20 points for Neoga, and Jillian Deters added 16.

Saturday, Dec. 8
Vandalia 58
Neoga 47
Points: Bruno, 32; Cripe, 12; Godoyo, 11; Brandy Protz, 2; Morgan Whightsil, 1.
Rebounds: Godoyo, 13; Whightsil, 8; Bruno, 7; Cripe, 5; Karlie Bright, 1; Kaitlyn Kershaw, 1; Protz, 1.
Assists: Godoyo, 4; Whightsil, 2; Bright, 1; Bruno, 1; Protz, 1.
Steals: Bruno, 4; Godoyo, 1.
Record: 3-5

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Vandalia struggled to shoot from the field after the first quarter last Thursday, and once that happened, it seemed that Hillsboro senior Shelby Gray couldn’t be stopped.

When combined together, it gave Gray a game-high 29 points and Hillsboro the 58-40 South Central Conference victory.

The Lady Vandals led by three after the first quarter, and would have been down by just six going into the final period, but Gray nailed a 3-pointer from well beyond the 3-point arc at the buzzer to make the score 34-25.

“Her hitting that 3-pointer at the buzzer was a killer,” said Vandalia coach Michelle McNary. “That gave them the momentum, and we started hanging our heads.”

Gray promptly hit another 3-pointer 17 seconds into the fourth quarter to extend an 11-0 Hillsboro run, and the game got out of hand when Hillsboro scored five points on one possession midway through the period.

The Lady Toppers failed to convert the free throw on a three-point play but grabbed an offensive rebound and turned it into a 3-pointer to take a 45-27 lead with 4:53 left in the game.

“The five-point possession was another killer,” McNary said. “We are beating ourselves.”
Vandalia (2-5, 0-3 SCC) forced too many shots, she said, leading to 35 missed field goals in the game.

Senior Amber Bruno led the team in scoring with 13 points, making 5-of-13 field goals, including one 3-pointer.

Junior Morgan Cripe led in rebounding, with a career-high 12, and senior Morgan Whightsil added nine points, all in the first quarter.

“We were talking about getting some post touches, but this group has a hard time staying patient,” McNary said. “We’ll run it through the post, and if we don’t get a good shot, they think they have to shoot quick.

“I said at halftime, ‘If you run it through 10 times and then get a good shot, that’s a good possession, especially in a close game.’”

The teams played evenly for the first eight minutes, with Vandalia taking a lead at the end of the first quarter on a three-point play from Whightsil with 1:31 left. The next five possessions all ended in a turnover.

Vandalia’s offense wasn’t necessarily clicking, however, and McNary said she told her players in between quarters that she didn’t understand how they were leading with such a lack of communication.

Gray then went to work for Hillsboro (7-2, 2-0 SCC), scoring all 14 of the Lady Toppers’ points in the second quarter to push her team ahead, 24-21.

“We had a hard time staying with Gray, but a lot of teams will have a hard time guarding her,” McNary said.

Twice Vandalia got back within a point in the third period, but Hillsboro would close the quarter on an 11-0 run to take control of the game.

Thursday, Dec. 6
Hillsboro 58
Vandalia 40
H: 10-14-10-24—58
V: 13-8-4-15—40
Points: Bruno, 13; Whightsil, 9; Bright, 6; Godoyo, 4; Kershaw, 2; Protz, 2; Sellers, 2; Tinker, 2.
Rebounds: Cripe, 12; Bruno, 6; Godoyo, 6; Whightsil, 5; Kershaw, 3; Team, 2; Bright, 1; Evans, 1; Tinker, 1.
Assists: Bruno, 2; Godoyo, 1; Tinker, 1.
Steals: Bright, 1; Bruno, 1; Godoyo, 1; Sellers, 1.
Blocks: Godoyo, 1; Tinker, 1.
Record: 2-5 (0-3 SCC)