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CRESTWOOD –The front line was just that for the South Oldham Lady Dragons as they beat Oldham County 42-30 Saturday.On a night when star guard Lauren Jones was a bit off her game, Lady Dragons’ center Amber Conniff and forward Allison Reynolds carried the day by controlling the interior against the bigger Lady Colonels.“I felt like we stepped up from the middle of the game to the end,” Conniff said. “From my standpoint, I am more patient now and instead of just passing it back out when I get it, I am more confident and able to maybe see if something opens up.”Conniff, a 6-foot-1 senior, finished with a team-high 14 points and eight rebounds while Reynolds, a 5-foot-10 junior, had eight points and eight rebounds.“Those two played very well,” SOHS coach Frank Wright said. “One of the things we have got to be able to do is have some different options and tonight we looked like we did.”It was a night the Lady Colonels accomplished one of their goals in limiting Jones to 10 points under her average with a solid team effort led by Emily Lape. OCHS, however, found themselves overwhelmed inside as 6-foot-1 senior Lindsay Melton was limited by foul trouble all game and finished with eight points and 6-foot-3 Tara Huckvale managed just two points, from the free throw line.“I would have never imagined we could hold Lauren Jones to eight points and get beat by 12,” OCHS coach Jamie Dumstorf said. “We came out and laid an egg on offense. We missed 13 free throws, three uncontested layups and did not play well inside at either end.”The Lady Dragons. 10-3, also won with their boardwork. While Coniff and Reynolds each had eight rebounds, Jones led the team with 11.“She (Jones) found some other ways to help us which is a positive sign,” Wright said. “A lot of kids go in the tank when one part of their game is suffering, but she didn’t do that.”Jones did play a key role in the opening minutes of the second half when the Lady Dragons managed to build a workable lead.A 12-footer off the right side from Lape cut the SOHS lead to 21-19 before the Lady Dragons made their move.Reynolds went to work inside drawing Melton’s third foul that sent the OCHS star to the bench. Reynolds hit a free throw, then on the ensuing trip down hit a drive along the baseline to put the Lady Dragons up 24-19.OCHS cut the margin on a free throw from Lape before Jones posted up for a six-foot turnaround from the corner for a 26-20 lead. After the teams traded a pair of turnovers each, Jones struck a kill shot with a three-pointer off the right wing for a 29-20 lead.OCHS tried to comeback in the opening minutes of the final period when Melton hit a drive along the baseline to cut the lead to 29-24 with 5:55 left in the game.Reynolds and Coniff, however, had a final answer to keep OCHS at bay.Reynolds hit a drive in the lane and drew a foul from Melton. Her free throw put SOHS back up 32-24. The SOHS press trapped OCHS’ Audri Beaudrie into a walking violation on the next possession. SOHS went up 34-24 when Coniff took pass on the left wing and blew by a pair of Lady Colonels’ defenders to hit a spinning shot in the lane.OCHS never got any closer than seven points in the final four minutes as they fell to 9-5 on the year.“We showed pretty good ball movement tonight,” Wright said. “We’re not totally there yet, but we had nice recognition of matchups at times in the game. Our understanding of offensive opportunities is getting better.”SOHS - 9 12 8 13 42 - Lauren Jones 8, Meg McMullen 4, Amber Conniff 14, Kristin Mabrey 2, Allison Reynolds 8, Jordann McGuffin 6, 42.OCHS - 9 6 7 8 30 - Dani Irwin 2, Lindsay Melton 8, Emily Lape 3, Audri Beaudrie 9, Ericka Hardin 6, Tara Huckvale 2, 30.
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