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Pats still on the back of Lady Lions
By John Mullen
 In last Thursday night’s girls’ basketball action at Jack Butcher Sports Arena, number one ranked Vincennes Rivet had all they could handle before knocking off Loogootee 48-38. The Lady Lions’ Wynter Wagoner quickly picked up where she left off on Tuesday (when she scored a game-winner to beat Pike Central), draining a three-pointer to open the scoring. However, the Pats’ got off to a hot start as well, behind their senior leader Chelsea Meeks and junior post Erin Wehrheim.  
  A hoop by Tia Pennington and trey from Taylor Walker gave the home-standing squad an 8-6 advantage three minutes into the contest. A Rivet basket tied the affair, but Waynessa Burch drove the right baseline for a 10-8 spread. Meeks dished her third consecutive assist to a teammate for an easy lay-in, and at 3:01, her two free throws allowed the Patriots to edge ahead for the first time in the game. Thirty seconds later, Wagoner got the second of two charity tosses to drop through, narrowing the margin to one point. Wehrheim immediately responded with two more, but both teams came up empty in the final two minutes as Rivet led by three, 14-11, after one stanza. Kelci Mann got into the offensive act at 7:06 when she netted two free tosses to close the gap, and her first field goal put the Lady Lions back on top before Mallory Niehaus answered inside. Meeks knocked down her first three-bagger after a missed Loogootee lay-up forcing Smith to signal a time-out, down 18-15, to re-group the troops. Mann found Burch for a baseline basket, this time on the left side, and the scoreboard remained 18-17 for nearly the next three minutes before sophomore Elizabeth Keller got one of two at the line. Burch again stroked a shot from the left side for 19 all, but Keller picked off an offensive carom and put-back as Rivet re-took the advantage by two. With 1:05 in the half, Pennington missed a bonus opportunity, and although Meeks came down the floor and missed a trey, Keller managed a steal after a Lion defensive rebound underneath and was fouled going up. She got 1-2 freebies to drop, and after Mann missed in the lane as the clock neared zeroes, Pennington went over the back with 2.6 seconds giving Niehaus two fifteen-foot looks that she deposited for a 24-19 lead at intermission.
    The third frame began with Wagoner dropping it like it’s hot for a 3; however, Wehrheim quickly hit a two-pointer to try and stem the tide. Walker splashed her second three-ball at 6:00 trimming the margin to 26-25. Wehrheim again had the answer down low to bump the difference back to three, but Wagoner dead-locked the game once again with her third from distance, this time at 28’s. Wehrheim, of course, dropped another jumper to put the Pats back on top. After a Lion turnover, Meeks got free for her second from the arc, and an ensuing turnover gave Keller a trip to the line where her two makes upped the game to 35-28.  
  Casandra Brocksmith, another junior in a class of eight, expanded the unanswered scoring run to 9-0 to begin the final eight minutes before Mann stopped the bleeding with one-of-two free throws. Burch’s driving bucket and Wagoner’s fourth trifecta cut it back to a one-possession game at 37-34. Rivet got their next three markers on free tosses as they continued to crash the boards for offensive rebounds. Keller’s basket took the lead to 42-34 before Mann made a tough shot. Another Rivet offensive pull-down after a missed shot provided more free throws that Brocksmith promptly stuck. She then went to the rack for another score as the lead ballooned to double figures, 46-36. The final points were scored when Burch again went to work before Wehrheim snuck behind the press for the final fielder of the game.  
  Wagoner tallied a charity toss and four three-balls for a baker’s dozen to pace Loogootee. Burch nailed five shots for ten points, Mann contributed seven, Walker six, and Pennington a solitary fielder. Wehrheim led everyone with 15 while Brocksmith and Keller both recorded double figures with ten each. The Lions caged Meeks to just nine and the sharp-shooting coach’s daughter, Emily Young, was held scoreless. The Lions fell to 8-5 while Rivet remained unscathed at 14-0.
-Photo by Larry Hembree
Lady Lion Waynessa Burch gets ready to go up for the shot while teammate Tia Pennington blocks out the defender.
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-Photo by Larry Hembree
Kelci Mann drives around Rivet’s defense to the bucket. Mann had seven points.
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