The South Spencer girls basketball team did some hunting late last week.
But they weren’t targeting deer or rabbits.
They wanted to shoot down a conference championship.
The Lady Rebels remained in the PAC title hunt by topping the host Lady Pats 45-38 last Thursday night in Lincoln City.
The smile on South Spencer coach Brent Mathew’s face said a lot in revealing how pleased he was seeing his squad earn the win over their county rivals.
“In 2005, that was the last time we won in this gym. It feels great. It’s another streak that we’ve broken,” said the Lady Rebel boss. “We hadn’t won that [PSC] holiday tournament in 14 years before this season. We hadn’t beaten Tecumseh in I think 18 years before this season. We’re breaking habits, and we’ve got a few more habits [to break] ahead of us, but this was a good win.”
Heritage Hills coach Kim Brown was hoping her team would come away victorious, but it wasn’t meant to be.
“We knew it would be a very competitive game. A few less turovers, a few different whistles and it’s closer than a seven-point margin,” said the Lady Pats’ bench leader. “We just couldn’t get over the hump.”
The tough mid-game battle between teams caused South Spencer to change their mentality a bit.
“I just told the girls to quit trying not to lose. They were tentative for a stretch. It told them to be aggressive like they were earlier,” said Mathew. “We went back to our trap a little bit to get them going and they turned it on.”
Trinity Britton certainly did. The South Spencer senior guard scored the Lady Rebels’ final 10 points to finish with a game-high 23. During that stretch, she also made 6-7 free throws to help seal the win for South Spencer (12-4 overall and 5-1 in the PAC).
“Hats off to her,” said Brown. “The first time we played them [in the PSC Holiday Hoops tournament], she didn’t have a great game. I kind of figured, she’d be coming tonight. I told the girls that before the game.”
“Our next game is against North Posey, and I’m sure they’re going to watch this film. Based on what happened tonight, they’re going to be up in our grill and we have to be able to handle it,” said the Lady Pats’ coach. “We have to learn from this as we move forward.”
South Spencer also wants to keep winning and continue improving as they move forward.
“We’ve got one loss in the conference right now. We’re tied for the lead, until somebody else beats us. We want to stay there,” concluded Mathew. “That’s what we talked about. As of Tuesday, we had eight games left before we play whoever we draw in the sectional, and we want to use every one of those games to get better. We got better tonight.”
For the full story, and all of the stats – check out this week’s version of the Spencer County Leader!
Story by Brian Bohne, photos by Sierra Bruggeman