The Skyline girls’ basketball team rode a furious 4th quarter rally to snatch a 29-24 victory away from visiting Minneola Tuesday night at the Thunderdome.
The Skyline girls’ basketball team rode a furious 4th quarter rally to snatch a 29-24 victory away from visiting Minneola Tuesday night at the Thunderdome. Trailing by 7 heading into the decisive stanza, the Lady T-Birds finally got the offense untracked and put up more points in the 4th quarter than they had in the previous three combined. “Our shooting was atrocious early on,” observed Skyline head coach Chuck Young. . “We stepped it up both offensively and defensively in the 4th quarter.” The 4th quarter offense was sparked by defense as the Thunderbird pressure began paying dividends. Skyline had numerous steals in Q4 and they also forced the Wildcats into several turnovers. Those resulted in some transition buckets that seemed to jump-start the T-Bird offense. When the dust settled, Skyline had 15 points in the quarter while holding Minneola to just 3—and that was enough to hand them the win. The game started slowly for both teams. Skyline led just 5-2 after the first quarter. The second quarter saw Minneola shots begin to fall while the basket still would not accept Skyline’s offerings and the Wildcats led 13-8 at the break. At the start of the second half, Brooke Fisher connected on a give-and-go and it looked like the T-Bird scoring drought might be over. But it was not. The lid stayed firmly on the bucket until Betsy Giles got a free throw to drop at the 2:00 mark of Q3. At that point, Skyline trailed 21-10— which was the largest lead of the evening for Minneola. Mycha Owens then scored on a fast break and put in a free throw to draw Skyline within 7, 21-14, at the end of the third frame. Some bench players put in some good minutes for Skyline at the end of Q3 allowing the starters to rest up for the big 4th quarter push. Among those reserves contributing the most were Hayley Mendoza, Payje Orler, Kamryn Stark, Tiffany Timm and Madalyn Owens. The 4th quarter was all Skyline. It was a team effort, as six different girls scored in the rally. Betsy Giles hit a field goal to start the T-Birds’ comeback. The four seniors, especially, made key contributions down the stretch. Brooke Fisher applied disruptive ball pressure and ended the night with 6 steals. Mycha Owens scored 4 of her game-high 7 points in the frame, including a big 3-ball at the 6:27 mark to draw the T-Birds within 1. Kadi Richardson had 3 deflections and 3 steals plugging the lane defensively. No one had a bigger impact on the comeback than Taylor DeWeese, however. “Taylor played very hard,” Coach Young acknowledged. DeWeese controlled the glass, collecting 13 caroms on the night including some big offensive boards. It was a DeWeese put-back at the 4:00 mark that gave Skyline its first lead since the early second quarter at 24-23. A Richardson bucket gave Skyline a little breathing space, and Minneola resorted to fouling. Ball handlers Jessica DeWeese, Owens and Fisher hit enough free throws down the stretch to hold the Wildcats off, and Skyline emerged with a 29-24 win. The Lady Thunderbirds improved to 3-4 on the year with the win. They will travel to Ashland on Friday night. Skyline 5 3 6 15 29 Minneola 2 11 8 3 24 Owens 7, Giles 3, Orler 2, Richardson 6, J. DeWeese 3, Mendoza 1, T. DeWeese 4, Fisher 3