CARBONDALE — Carbondale’s Lady Terriers blanked Mount Vernon for the last 7:37 to earn a 51-47 victory Thursday, their first South Seven win of the season. Mount Vernon had put a running clock on Carbondale earlier this season.
“These kids just gritted it out,” said Carbondale coach Marialice Jenkins. “I told them this is one of the grittiest wins I can remember for our team in a long time. They short-gamed us up there. They could have hung their heads, but these kids dug in.
“I’m just excited for them to get the feel of that kind of gritty win.”
With the game tied at 45 entering the fourth quarter, Mount Vernon’s Brooklynn Kelley hit a baseline runner on the Lady Rams’ first possession. That would be the last score of the game for Mount Vernon.
Carbondale’s Kiara Cobb tied the game on the Terriers next possession and the game remained deadlocked for nearly six minutes. Cobb scored what proved to be the winning bucket at the 1:24 mark when she missed a runout, but stuck with the play to get her own rebound.
A sophomore, Cobb finished with a game-high 18 points.
Mount Vernon appeared poised to pull away early in the second quarter, opening an eight-point lead, but Carbondale responded with a 13-0 run.
“When we were streaking there a little bit, if we could have made one or two more shots and got that lead out a little farther, we might have been able to go on and get some momentum,” said Mount Vernon coach Jeff Lonnon. “It seemed like every time we wanted to put a nail in the coffin, they’d come up with a big shot.”
Cobb hit a couple of those big shots. She had six of the 13 points in that run.
“That kid came to play today,” Jenkins said. “She showed us some things today we really haven’t seen. She was a huge difference in the game.”
“We did not do a very good job there,” said Lonnon. “That is another big difference in the game. We were not counting on that. It seemed like she couldn’t miss. She had a great night. She stepped up.”
Both coaches agreed that the difference in the two meetings was Carbondale’s ability to handle the Mount Vernon pressure Thursday.
“They beat our press,” Lonnon said. “The first time around they didn’t do a very good job. The reason they won by so much the first time around is we got a lot of press points. We couldn’t get them tonight. They just did a good job tonight.”
The Terriers also stepped up at the free throw line, converting 12-of-14 attempts. Cobb was perfect in four attempts and Hannah Lowndes was 5-of-6.
“I can’t explain it,” Jenkins said. “We made shots. It’s contagious. We made 2-for-13 free throws at Marion the other night, that’s contagious. Tonight, we go 12-of-14. It’s a crazy game, but I think if these kids get a little confidence under their belts they have the capability of hanging with a lot of teams.”
Rudd topped Mount Vernon with 16 while Annibelle Harrison scored 13 and Kelley 10.
In addition to Cobb’s 18 points, Faith Halliday had 11 and Lowndes had 10.