WILLOUGHBY—South drained 11 3-pointers to beat visiting Kirtland in a nonconference game on Monday, 49-46.
The Rebels have now won three straight games and the secret to their success isn’t a secret at all. South has hit double-digit 3s in their last two games.
“We hit 13 in the previous game so we’re actually shooting the ball really well,” South coach Mike Coreno said. “I’ve got to give them the green light. The ball is going in so we have to keep shooting.”
Grace Woodcock and Kailey Minch both hit a pair of 3s in the first quarter as the Rebels led 17-14 after the first quarter.
Alyssa Tekavec, Emma Woolnough and Minch all hit 3s in the second quarter, leaving the Hornets in the difficult position of trying to guard multiple long-range shooters. That helped the Rebels to work their way into the paint.
“We split (the 3s) the other night five, four three,” Coreno said. “When it’s going in and they have to come out further to defend, we’re 5-11 and under, so if we can score from outside and then get to the basket, it helps.”
South only scored four points from inside the arc in the second quarter but the Rebels did get to the free throw line and converted 2-of-4 tries to lead at halftime, 30-27.
Woolnough did most of the damage for the Rebels in the second half as she scored 11 of her 14 in the final 16 minutes and drained three 3-pointers, each one coming after a short Kirtland run.
Minch led the Rebels with 15 points and Woolnough added 14.
Defensively, the Rebels keyed on slowing down Kirtland’s top scorers in Lauren Snyder and Julia Camino.
Snyder finished with 19 while Camino was limited to two.
“We finally caught on to the concept of trying to take Snyder and just deny her the ball,” Coreno said. “I’ve got to give it to the rotation of players that were defending her. She’s going to get her points but I think we did a good job of trying to wear her out.”
In the waning seconds, Snyder had an opportunity to tie the game with a long 3-pointer but the ball was knocked off track and the Rebels recovered the controversial loose ball.
“It doesn’t all come down to the last play,” Kirtland coach Brittany Zele said. “There’s a lot we needed to do before that but my heart is broken for them because I feel that the opportunity to tie it was taken away in two different opportunities.”
With Snyder and Camino drawing extra attention from the Rebels, Kirtland needed other players to step up and it was Macy McIntosh and Haley Coso who answered the call.
McIntosh finished with 12 points and did the dirty work under the hoop and Coso contributed with eight points.
“Tonight was very off for us offensively,” Zele said. “We were missing one of our best players and Lauren’s been sick, Leah’s a little sick but Haley Coso stepped up tonight in the starting spot and she hit some key baskets we needed. Macy is our workhorse. She’s our muscle and our heart and soul. We knew something was going to be taken away and unfortunately, it was our two top scorers. Haley and Macy stepped up and they did what they needed to do. We just needed to take care of things on the defensive end.”
South improved to 4-5 while Kirtland dropped to 7-2.