RUSHVILLE — The Lady Lions opened the home portion of their schedule with Mt. Vernon Friday and Plainfield Saturday. In two tight games, the Lady Lions split on the weekend - falling to the Lady Marauders 68-66 and stopping the Lady Quakers 65-56.
The weekend started with a back-and-forth game including 12 lead changes between the Lady Lions and Lady Marauders. Three of those came in the first quarter as the Lady Lions took a 14-11 lead. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Mikayla Dougherty sparked the Lady Lions to the lead at the end of the first eight minutes.
Mid-way through the second quarter, Keragan Niehoff found Sarah Cook for the bucket to give the Lady Lions a 20-19 lead. Rushville was able to push the lead to as much as six points before two free throws by Sydney Shelton cut the deficit to 31-28 at the half.
Rushville began to pull away to start the second half. Kelsi Ash’s rebound bucket pushed the lead to 38-30 and after a Shelton bucket for Mt. Vernon, Cook’s traditional three-point play had the lead at nine points. Erica Moore (game-high 25 points) led the Lady Marauders back as she scored nine straight for Mt. Vernon to make it 44-41. After a Mackenzie Campbell free throw, the Lady Marauders scored six straight points and led 47-46 heading to the fourth quarter.
The lead changed hands five times in the fourth quarter leading up to the final minute of action. A Cook free throw pushed the lead to 63-60 with :40.6 on the clock. Moore’s three-point play tied the game and two Rachel Houck free throws had the Lady Marauders on top by two with :12.3 left.
Both teams hit 3-of-4 free throws in the final seconds, leaving the Lady Lions with a 3-pointer for the win, but it was not to be as the Lady Marauders held on for the 68-66 victory.