HERRIN -- Massac County's full court pressure and offensive rebounding proved to be the key in a 53-35 route of Herrin in a SIRR Ohio Division girls basketball battle Tuesday.
"I thought our pressure was pretty good tonight," said Massac County coach Keith Shelton. "I was really proud of our defensive effort. We talked on screens and played the second half without Emily Hoard and Jessie Douglas didn't play a whole lot and everyone stepped up."
Massac County (4-2, 1-0 SIRR Ohio) pressured Herrin from the tip-off disrupting the flow of the Lady Tigers offense limiting Herrin to just eight baskets from the field with five coming from beyond the arc. The Lady Patriots controlled the boards out-rebounding Herrin 34 to 25 while scoring 16 points off offensive rebounds.
"We just don't handle pressure very well and we don't rebound," said Herrin coach Bill Green. "We've been battling that all year. You can't give any team two and three shots at it, especially a team as good as Massac."
Herrin (5-6, 0-3 SIRR Ohio) took the early lead on a jumper by Haley Hunter and after Massac County took the lead on a layup by Douglas and two free throws by Jessica Coakley regained it on a 3-pointer by Emma Deaton.
But a putback by Douglas followed by a putback by Coakley gave the Lady Patriots the lead, and Massac County never looked back.
Coakley finished with a double-double leading the game with 15 points and 13 rebounds as well as two steals and two blocked shots. Douglas finished with 12 points and five rebounds, despite leaving the game with 5:44 remaining in the third quarter.
"The last two games Coakley has been doing some good things," Shelton said. "We've been hit by the flu bug and tonight some injuries, so we have to get everybody healthy before we get back to business."
The Lady Tigers pulled within a point on three of four from the line, but a hook by Coakley followed by a steal and a layup by Hoard gave the Lady Patriots a 13-5 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Three-pointers by Gracyn McBride and Douglas got Massac County off to a good start in the second quarter as the Lady Patriots build a 12-point lead.
A 3-pointer by Deaton cut the lead back to nine, but Massac County responded to take a 13-point lead into the half.
Hoard had limped off the court with an ankle injury in the first quarter and gutted it out to play the second, but couldn't answer the bell for the third quarter and sat out the entire second half. The senior guard finished with six points.
A 3-pointer by Makayla Smothers seemed to get Herrin off to a good start to open the third quarter, but Massac County went on an 11-1 run fueled by three consecutive steals that led to baskets to take a 20-point lead with 3:30 remaining in the quarter.
"It seems we stay in the ballgame in the first half, but lose it in the second half," Green said. "I don't know if we're in good shape or not, but we're off until the 26th, so I can guarantee you by then we'll be in shape."