By Rob Potter
ELDRED December 12, 2003 A third quarter scoring burst helped visiting Sullivan West defeat Eldred Tuesday night in a non-league girls basketball game.
After taking a 20-15 lead into the locker room, SW (3-0) outscored the Lady Yellowjackets 12-6 in the third period. The Lady Bulldogs then extended that advantage in the final eight minutes of play to record a 46-27 victory.
SW took the lead for good in the first minute of the game as senior center Nadine McCarthy scored inside the lane to break a 2-2 tie.
Eldred (0-1) closed the gap to 16-15 when junior center Jessica Cherry made one of two free throws with 2:30 left in the second period. But SW responded with two baskets before the quarter ended to take its aforementioned five-point halftime lead.
McCarthy and senior forward Vanessa Kline keyed the SW offense in the third quarter, as each scored baskets in the low post.
Early in the fourth quarter, McCarthy scored four points in a two-and-half minute span. Kline then converted one of two shots at the free-throw line to give the Lady Bulldogs their biggest lead of the evening at 43-23.
Eldreds hopes for a late comeback were dashed when three starters fouled out of the game in the second half. In addition, Cherry left the game with 5:19 remaining in the fourth quarter. She suffered a sprained ankle when she and three other players dove onto the court in an attempt to gain possession of a loose ball.
In the second half, our offense was better and we were getting on the boards, SW Coach Ron Bernhardt said. There were a couple of two or three-minute spans in the second half where our offense looked very crisp.
Leading the Lady Bulldogs offense were McCarthy and senior forward Jessica Lederman, each of whom had a double-double. McCarthy scored a team-high 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Lederman recorded 10 points and 12 rebounds. Kline added nine points and four assists for SW.
That was her best overall floor game this season, Bernhardt said of Klines performance.
Bernhardt praised his team for staying calm and composed amid the often very physical play.
It was a tough game, he said. Our girls had a lot of poise when they were being fouled multiple times on each possession.
Pacing the Eldred offense were Cherry and senior guard Lauren Timan. Cherry finished with a game-high 13 points and Timan netted 11 points.
We were right there with them in the first half, Eldred Coach Frank Kean said. But in the second half they were able to get the ball inside and score some easy baskets.
Naturally, the Lady Yellowjackets would have preferred to start their 2003-2004 season with a win, but Kean will use the defeat as an educational tool.
For playing up two classes, we didnt do too bad at all, said Kean, noting that the Lady Yellowjackets are a Class D team and the Lady Bulldogs are a Class B squad. My philosophy has always been that you need to play up [in class] to get better.