HUSTONTOWN - A wakeup call was just what the Fannett-Metal Lady Tigers needed after what coach Jenny Lauthers called a "terrible" first quarter.
After going down by as many as 11 points and scoring just two field goals in the first, Lauthers benched three of her starters to give them a chance to refocus. They clearly responded and went on a seven-point run to start the second quarter. The team rode that momentum swing to pick up a 45-38 basketball victory over Sideling Hill League/Inter-County Conference rival Forbes Road.
"We just didn't seem to get in the flow of anything," Lauthers said. "We couldn't get anything going offensively or defensively. We couldn't get our running game going. Once we broke loose a little bit and got a couple of runs, the ice was broken a little bit."
The Tigers (8-2, 3-2 SHL, 2-2 ICC) oustcored Forbes Road 16-5 in the second quarter, and after a layup by Melissa Zeger in the last second of the half, Fannett-Metal held a 24-22 edge at halftime. It was their first lead since the opening minute.
The Cardinals (3-6, 0-4 SHL, 1-4 ICC) got back the lead once in the third quarter, but Megan Dougherty immediately responded with a five-point run of her own to give Fannett-Metal a lead it never gave up.
"I just don't think we came out ready to play," Dougherty said. "We just needed to wake up and play our game. But then the second and third quarters, I just think we realized we needed to get off the bus and play our game or we weren't going to win."
Forbes Road was greatly hindered by disciplinary issues. By the end of the first half, all five Cardinal starters had at least two fouls. With 3:28 left in the third, Shayla Carmack had already gotten her fifth foul, and in the fourth quarter, two more starters - Corri Parsons and Shania Gelvin - were forced to join her on the bench.
"Going into the second quarter, we were already in a little bit of foul trouble, and the girls got a little down," Forbes Road coach Stacy Horne said. "When we get into foul trouble like that and I have to switch around rotations, that really throws us off."
The trouble it caused was most evident on the scoreboard. The Cardinals outscored Fannett-Metal 30-26 from the field, but the Tigers got to the line 36 times and sunk 19 of them. Forbes Road scored just six charity points.
"They definitely have a size advantage over us, so we have to be more physical against them," Horne said. "We are going to get into more foul trouble, but it's just part of our situation right now."
One bright spot for Forbes was rebounding - at least at first. Although the Tigers eventually surpassed the Cardinals on the glass, 14 of Fannett-Metal's came in the final eight minutes.
"I'm not very happy with our rebounding effort this evening," Lauthers said. "I mean, we got 40, but we should've had so many more. They just seemed to be a half step ahead of us the whole time."
Sam Clippinger had a nice game for Forbes Road, scoring 16 points and pulling down eight rebounds. But she was the only Cardinal in double figures.
The Tigers, on the other hand, had two leaders. Dougherty led the scoring effort with 16 points, and Blaire Lauthers had a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Zeger had a game-high 13 rebounds.
Although Fannett-Metal clawed its way to this victory and now has two narrow victories over its rival, coach Lauthers said all that will go out the window when the teams meet again on Feb. 7.
"The next time we play them, it doesn't matter that we've already beaten them twice," Lauthers said. "They'll come out, and they'll be fired up and ready to go. So we need to come out and be fired up as well for that game. I'm just thankful to be out of here with a win."
Lizi Arbogast can be reached at 262-4788 or email@example.com.
Forbes Road 38
Megan Dougherty 4 8-15 16, Blaire Lauthers 4 2-6 10, Amanda Laye 0 0-0 0, McKenna Bair 3 2-5 8, Melissa Zeger 1 7-10 9, Jessica Becker 0 0-0 0, Lexi Mackey 1 0-0 2, Jodi Adams 0 0-0 0, Caroline Yarish 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 19-36 45.
Braylin Hohman 3 0-0 7, Shania Gelvin 1 0-0 3, Corri Parsons 2 2-5 6, Shayla Carmack 1 2-3 5, Sam Clippinger 6 1-1 16, Breanna Worthing 0 1-2 1, Haley Lashinsky 0 0-0 0, Lauren Black 0 0-0 0, Malea Truax 0 0-0 0, Mina Wilt 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 6-11 38.
Fannett-Metal 8 16 12 9 - 45
Forbes Road 17 5 11 5 - 38
3-point shots - FR 4 (Hohman, Gelvin, Carmack, Clippinger). Shooting - FM 13-48 (27.1%); FR 13-42 (31.0%). Rebounds - FM 40 (Zeger 13, Lauthers 12); FR 31 (Hohman 11). Assists - FM 9 (Dougherty 3); FR 12 (Gelvin, Parsons 4). Steals - FM 13 (Dougherty 7); FR 7 (Gelvin 3). Turnovers - FM 12; FR 22. Blocked shots - FR 4 (Hohman 3). Fouled out - Gevlin, Parsons, Carmack.
Next game: FM: Monday, at home vs. Northern Bedford, 7:30 ... FR: Monday, at Everett, 7:30.