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South Oldham girls fall to Collins: Foul trouble, mental lapses doom Lady Dragons in Eighth Region opener

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By Greg Waddell

The whistles blew early and often in the first game of the girls’ Eighth Region tournament Wednesday night as the South Oldham Lady Dragons sent Collins to the free throw line 31 times in a heartbreaking 44-43 loss.
South Oldham had a slightly tougher time drawing fouls, attempting only 15, six free throws fewer than Collins made.
“We had three starters on our bench with three fouls,” South Oldham coach Christy Higdon said. “But you can’t blame it on the officiating because they were calling it both ways. They doubled our free throws, yeah, but we did a lot of reaching.”
An abundance of fouls wasn’t the only thing plaguing South Oldham as a lack of execution and mental breakdowns doomed the Lady Dragons down the stretch.
“We played like we were young and inexperienced, not doing the things we had done from February until now,” Higdon said. “We played like we were scared.”
That came to a head in the game’s final minutes as two costly turnovers and a questionable foul in a span of less than a minute proved to be too much to overcome.
After a pair of free throws put the Lady Titans ahead with two and a half minutes to play, South Oldham’s Sydney Jones nailed a huge 3-pointer to swing momentum back into South’s favor.
That would be short lived, however, as Collins’ Aaliyah Wells had an answer on the ensuing possession, drawing ­— and making — two more free throws to tie the score once again.
That’s when things began to fall apart.
With the ball and 45 seconds on the clock, South’s Abbey Van Zant turned the ball over while walking the ball up the court, throwing a pass wide of guard Kenzie Beaudrie.
South would get another chance on the next possession though as a Collins turnover handed the ball right back.
But the Lady Dragons’ second attempt didn’t fare any better than the first as an errant pass resulted in a Collins steal and, in the ensuing chaos, a questionable foul with 1.6 seconds remaining, sending the Lady Titans to the line for the double-bonus to decide the game.
After nailing the first, Collins freshman Michelle Roberts missed the second intentionally, preventing a last-second shot attempt from the Lady Dragons.
Sydney Jones was the leading scorer for South Oldham in the loss, netting 17 points.
The Lady Dragons finish the season 15-15.

Collins 8 11 11 14 — 44
South Oldham 4 13 15 11 — 43
South Oldham (15-15) — Jones 17, Beaudrie 7, Sedoris 6, Mullins 5, Taylor 4, Van Zant 4.
Collins (16-14) — Roberts 13, Pullen 12, Wells 12, Vogel 3, Buckmaster 2, Rankin 2.
3-pointers — Jones 4, Masters, Mullins

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