LINTON — The North Daviess girls basketball team continued its hot play to start the season by winning the Holiday Tournament at Linton behind 21 total points from Sabra Smith and 20 from Meghan Knepp.
The Class A No. 6 Cougars (7-0) defeated Tecumseh 48-27 and Northeast Dubois 40-39 Saturday to take the tournament in their final tune up before hosting Class A No. 5 Barr-Reeve (4-1) Saturday at the Cougar Den.
In the first game, the Cougars (4-3) dominated Tecumseh from the opening tip. North Daviess led 16-7 after one quarter and 32-11 at halftime. Senior Meghan Knepp made four 3-pointers to lead the Cougars with 18 points. The North Daviess offense was less dominant in the second half as both teams put up 16 points to give the Cougars the 21-point victory.
“We took control early in the first game and were able to hold the lead while subbing freely the entire second half,” said North Daviess coach Ron Knepp.
The second game would test North Daviess’ stamina and mental toughness. Northeast Dubois took a 12-7 lead after the first quarter of the Cougars’ second game of the day, but North Daviess bounced back in the second quarter to tie the score at 17 at the half. A 15-6 advantage in the third quarter gave the Cougars a 32-23 lead heading into the final quarter.
A furious Northeast Dubois comeback fell one-point short as the Jeeps outscored the Cougars 16-8 in the final eight minutes. Despite leading by a point with 24 seconds left, the Jeeps were unable to block out Taylor Mallett, which resulted in a buzzer beating put back.
Sabra Smith led the Cougars with 13 points and Taylor Mallett added 12 of her own. Abby Cecil scored six points, Brooke Moore added four points, Maggie Swartzentruber scored three and Meghan Knepp had two points.
“We started slower and were able to get even at half and then had a great third quarter,” Knepp said. “I think conditioning with all the snow days came into play in the fourth quarter. We started standing more and making mental mistakes because we were tired and allowed them to take the lead with 24 seconds left. We got the ball and called timeout and drew up a play which did not result in a shot. We reversed the ball and got a running 15-foot jumper with time running out and Taylor Mallett rebounded the miss and put it back in for the one point win at the buzzer. With all the snow lately we were just happy to be playing and to come out with two wins made it a great day.”