The Mountain Lions of Concord (3-15, 2-12 MEC) secured a huge 67-58 road upset victory Saturday afternoon against the Rams (9-13, 6-8 MEC).
Starting out, the Rams were in control in this one, as they moved the ball effectively to find holes in the Mountain Lions’ defense to build an early 13-4 lead. From there on though, the Mountain Lions made defensive adjustments and made life difficult for the Rams’ offense.
As Coach Eckleberry of the Rams pointed out after the game, the team could not counter the Mountain Lions’ defensive adjustments. Any time the Rams went inside, the Mountain Lions’ defense tightened and forced them into difficult shots. With the Rams shooting just 33.8 percent for the game, the Mountain Lions were able to hang around and keep things interesting.
With their newfound confidence on the defensive end, the game opened up for the Mountain Lions offensively. As a team the Mountain Lions shot just 41.2 percent, but their attacking of the basket got them to the free throw line at a high volume. They made 22-of-26 foul shots, while the Rams shot just 7-of-13.
Lindsey Overbey of the Mountain Lions proved to be a great challenge for the Rams to contend with during the course of the game. She finished with 20 points by making 7-of-11 field goals and 3-of-4 from the foul line. She had help in the scoring department from teammates Heather Chapman (16 points) and Emily Boothe (14 points).
After falling behind 46-43 after three quarters of play, the Rams appeared unable to overcome the Mountain Lions’ defensive tactics. With the clock dwindling away, each shot became more and more important. When the Rams really needed to convert a short jump shot or contested layup, they simply could not find the bottom of the basket.
Senior guard Cara Mason of the Rams made things interesting when she converted a layup with 1:49 to play that made it a 57-56 game in favor of the Mountain Lions. After a questionable call as to who the ball went off of last on the Rams’ next offensive possession, Lindsey Overbey of the Mountain Lions was left wide open and drained a corner three-pointer that gave the Mountain Lions a nice 60-56 cushion with 1:10 to play.
From then on, as they had done largely all game long, the Mountain Lions executed their foul shots and played stiff defense down the stretch to secure the 67-58 victory.
In the comeback attempt that fell short, senior forward Kristina Prange of the Rams proved to be a lethal weapon from the perimeter, totaling 16 points for the game. Junior guard Kayla Tibbs contributed another 10 points, but the play of sophomore guard Kari Lankford in particular really gave the Rams a nice spark. She had just six points, but got her teammates involved with her game-best eight assists. Her toughness and grit gave the Rams hope when they needed it the most after falling behind.
Despite the loss, the Rams did have some reason to celebrate, as senior forward Liz Myers went over the 1,000 point mark in her career during the game. She currently now has 1,001 points in her Rams’ career.
Looking to shake this performance off, the Rams will next face West Liberty Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in a home match up in the Butcher Center.
Anthony Bracken is the Sports Editor of The Picket. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org