By Tim Linscott
It was a rough start to the 2014 version of the Perkins County basketball tournament on Jan. 2, but the PCS Lady Plainsmen bounced back to finish third.
In the opening round, PCS played Sandhills and came up short 59-19.
“We struggled on the inside, both defensively and offensively, against their height and physicality. Sandhills-Thedford is a well-coached team whose physicality just wore us down as the game went on,” said Deanne Bishop, PCS head girls basketball coach.
The Lady Plainsmen were competitive with the Lady Knights in the first quarter, down 14-6.
However, Sandhills posted 19 second quarter points and held PCS to just eight to hold a 33-14 lead at the half.
The offense for Sandhills kept growing in the third quarter as they outscored PCS 20-3 and held a commanding 53-17 lead going into the fourth quarter.
A 6-2 fourth quarter for Sand-hills sealed the victory.
PCS shot 22 percent (8 of 35) from the floor while Sandhills was 24 of 59 (40 percent).
Mariah Curtis had seven points, two rebounds, one assist and one steal against Sandhills while Courtney McClenahan had six points, one rebound, two assists and a steal for PCS.
Courtney Ostermiller led the team in rebounds with seven and had one assist and one steal while Amanda Osler had six boards for PCS to go with her two points.
Claire Maaliao had one block and one rebound for PCS and Kendra Hoffert finished the game with two points, one rebound and two assists while Stephanie Schrotberger had one rebound, one assist and two steals (team high). Courtney Lyon had two points and two rebounds.
PCS vs. Wallace
A third quarter edge was just enough for PCS to gain third place at the tournament with a win over Wallace, 42-34.
Both squads scored six points in the first quarter and Wallace held a 16-15 advantage in the second quarter to take a 22-21 halftime lead.
PCS, however, outscored Wallace 8-1 in the third quarter to gain a 29-23 lead going into the fourth quarter.
A comeback by Wallace was not to be as PCS outscored the Wildcats 13-11 to hold on for the victory.
It was a tale of two halves for Bishop.
“Coach Messersmith clearly has his team doing a good job of working together offensively, and we struggled to contain them in the first half,” she said. “We made a defensive switch at halftime that allowed us to limit Wallace’s high-percentage shots.”
The Lady Plainsmen were able to clean the offensive glass and get some easy ‘put-back’ baskets to lead going into the fourth quarter.
“One of our goals for this next stretch of the season is to have better offensive balance between the posts and guards,” Bishop said. “Against Wallace, our post play was as strong as it’s been the entire season, a step in the right direction.”
The victory gave the Lady Plainsmen continued direction.
“I am proud of our team and how hard the girls continue to work to improve their game,” Bishop said.
PCS made 3 of 11 three-point shots while Wallace hit 1 of 11. PCS held a slight rebound advantage over the Wildcats, 32-30, but had a 13-5 offensive board advantage, providing second chance scoring opportunities.
PCS also had a 10-6 steals ratio and cut turnovers down (18-21) to help secure the win.
The Lady Plainsmen were led by Mariah Curtis and Courtney McClenahan. Curtis scored 21 points and had eight rebounds, and a team high six steals.
McClenahan picked up a double double on the night with 11 points and 11 rebounds with one steal.
Kendra Hoffert pitched in eight points, six rebounds and four assists (team high).
Amanda Osler had three rebounds and one steal and Ostermiller had two boards, two assists and two steals.
The team will host back-to-back home games this week with North Platte St. Pat’s coming to town Friday night and then hosting Sutherland Saturday night.