South Callaway girls hold on to beat Calvary Lutheran for first win of season
The South Callaway Lady Bulldogs have been waiting for their first win of the season for a long time, but on Tuesday night they did the little things to finally get into the Victory Column.
South Callaway forced 12 turnovers in the fourth quarter and hit 6 of 8 free throws in the last eight minutes, losing a 16-game slack to end the season with a 45-41 win over the Calvary Lutheran Lady Lions at Calvary Lutheran begin high school in Jefferson City.
“We knew it was a matter of time before we got one,” said South Callaway coach Daniel Burns. “Fortunately, tonight was the night.”
It was the Lady Bulldogs’ first win since February 16 of last season, when they defeated Russellville 60-40 in their regular-season final.
“We’ve been close on several occasions,” Burns said. “It seems like something happens in the third or fourth quarter and then we start to implode. We had moments like that early tonight but we found a way to sort it out and get ourselves back into the game.”
The game featured 11 lead changes and eight draws. Neither team led by more than six points.
It was another difficult result for the Lady Lions, who nearly closed an 18-point deficit in the first quarter with a one-point loss to Eugene on Monday.
“South Callaway played hard tonight,” said Calvary Lutheran coach Ty Morris. “They were busy, they were after the ball. … When we had a hand in their face, they knocked over some buckets.”
Calvary Lutheran had the momentum to start the game and took an 11-6 lead.
“We were definitely trying to get the ball to the post because that tends to open up outside shooting,” Morris said. “It’s like the running game that opens the passing game in football.”
Sydney Morris hit a putback layup and then added another layup from a steal. At one point, she scored eight straight points for the Lady Lions, finishing with a double-double of 18 points and 20 rebounds.
Morris missed five games with a right knee injury. Their return to the lineup last Friday has given the Lady Lions a big boost in their post presence in their last three games.
“She’s been off for three weeks and she’s beating the rust a bit,” said Ty Morris. “She’s good on the ball. The first two games back her shooting was where you could notice the break a little bit. In this game, she’s coming back, she’s starting the flow of her shot.”
South Callaway ended the first quarter with a 6-0 run in the final at 2:09 to take a 12-11 lead. The two teams combined for six points in the second quarter as two baskets from Sydney Morris gave the Lady Lions a 15-14 advantage at the break.
The third quarter was a different story, with 37 points between the two teams.
Reagan Arrowood shot just 2 of 10 off the floor in the first half, but the South Callaway sophomore scored the team’s first seven points in the second half. She had a steal and a layup to give the Lady Bulldogs a 21-19 lead in the third game.
Arrowood scored 12 of their game-high 23 points in the third quarter.
“She’s taking a leadership role this year,” Burns said. “She was very trainable tonight. We had to pull her down a few times to get her head right and she came back and figured it out. She helped us secure this win.”
Lacey Mathews caught an in-bounds pass and dumped a 3-pointer out of the right corner, hitting the buzzer to lead South Callaway 34-32 into the fourth quarter.
Calvary Lutheran took the lead one final time with an offensive rebound and a layup from Sydney Morris – who had 10 rebounds in each half – to make the 38-37 at 2:49.
McKenzie Laughlin got a steal and a layup to change the lead in South Callaway’s favor by 2:04, making the score 40-38.
Many of the Lady Bulldogs’ steals came from a full-court press that they used throughout the game, making it difficult for the Lady Lions to build their offense.
“We pushed for two games, it’s just something we decided to do,” Burns said. “We have the attitude that we have nothing to lose, so let’s do something else.
“The girls love it and it allows us to create a little more offense.”
South Callaway then sealed the game at the free-throw line, taking 5 of 6 free throws as he went 1-16 in the final to a 1-and-1.
“You can practice free throws as many times as you want, but there’s no moment like a game, especially when you’re two or tied with the game on the line,” Burns said. “Our girls just found out.”
Arrowood hit two free throws with 59.7 remaining to give South Callaway their biggest lead, 44-38. Maddy Sprengel responded with a 3-pointer at the other end for Calvary Lutheran, but that’s as close as the Lady Lions would come down the stretch.
Sprengel joined Sydney Morris in double digits with 14 points for the Lady Lions.
Mathews, South Callaway’s only senior, also hit double digits with 10 points. She made 5 of 8 free throws, including 3 of 4 in the last minute.
“Lacey is really gritty and she plays so hard, plays with passion,” Burns said. “She kicked the ball off the free-throw line really well.”
South Callaway (1-16) continues a three-game road trip with a Show-Me Conference game Thursday in Russellville, while Calvary Lutheran (8-10) host Laquey on Thursday.