For the first time in her two-plus seasons, Sarah McCormick’s Scott City girls basketball team has started 2-0.
They accomplished that minor goal Thursday with a 44-28 throttling of previously unbeaten Palmer Ridge, Colo., in the opening round of the Clarion Inn Roundball Classic at Scott City.
The Beavers had opened the season last Friday with a big win over Wichita County, but holding the Bears to 28 points was a point of emphasis for McCormick as she prepared her team for the Thursday matchup.
“I’ve never had a team that could play full-court defense, but we’ve got some athletic kids who we’re experimenting with a lot of different things, and some of it’s working so far,” McCormick said after the game. “It’s nice to have a veteran team that really understands the offense, so we can spend a lot of time working on the defense.”
The Beavers limited the Bears to just six points in the first, third and fourth quarters, giving up only 10 in the second. They led 12-6 and then 23-16 at halftime before a 17-6 scoring spree in the third put some breathing room between them and Palmer Ridge.
“They played us a 1-3-1 zone, so there wasn’t a lot of openings on the baseline tonight,” McCormick said. “Our posts have been working really hard, so it was good to pound it inside. We’re gonna get good looks from the outside.”
Emily Weathers led the Beavers with 17 points and Lyndi Rumford added 11.
McCormick, who guided the Beavers to their first-ever state tournament appearance and fourth-place finish last season, liked what she saw from her team.
“I’m proud of their effort and their communication has been good on the floor,” McCormick said. “Being a veteran team, it really shows. They trust each other and they know where to be. We’ve never been 2-0 so I’m happy with that.”
The Beavers will host Wichita Collegiate at 6 p.m. Friday for Day 2.
Palmer Ridge 51, Scott City 46
In the nightcap, the Scott City boys were unable to make a fourth-quarter rally against Palmer Ridge, falling to the Bears 51-46 in the Roundball Classic opening day.
Palmer Ridge (3-2) opened with a 13-11 first-quarter lead and it was 20-16 at halftime. The Beavers had their best quarter in the third, with a 17-15 edge, trailing just 35-33 heading to the fourth. The Bears outscored the Beavers 16-13 in the final period.
Jordan Horn paced the Beavers with 18 points while the Bears didn’t have any player reach double figures.
The Beavers take on Wichita Collegiate in a 7:30 p.m. contest, again in Scott City before they head to Garden City to meet the Buffs on Saturday in the Classic finale.