Stifling Defense Helps Sullivan Take Third

Ashlynn Rinehart popped a long 3-pointer to start Friday’s contest between Sullivan and St. James.

From that point on, nothing went right for the Lady Tigers, with Sullivan’s defense the leading culprit.

Sullivan bullied their Four Rivers Conference opponents for all four quarters and came out ahead 45-26 in the third-place game of the seventh annual Peoples Bank Holiday Classic.

After surrendering Rinehart’s opening 3, the Lady Eagles wouldn’t allow another field goal until the 51 second mark in the second quarter.

The defensive effort allowed Sullivan to work through some offensive kinks. They led just 8-3 after one quarter amid turnover issues. 

Katie Creek hit the first of her four 3-pointers with 4:28 left in the half to put Sullivan ahead 13-3. Rinehart’s two free throws at the 3:33 mark broke a scoring drought that lasted more than 11 minutes. Creek then nailed another triple to extend Sullivan’s lead to 16-5. 

Riley Whitener would score on a three-point play to end a lengthy streak of misses from the field. With 12 seconds left, Kya Harbour scooped a long defensive rebound and took it all the way to give Sullivan an 18-8 lead at halftime.

Hanna Johanning swished back-to-back 3-pointers to start the second half and kickstart Sullivan’s perimeter game.

After two free throws by Harbour, Creek scored from downtown with 4:09 remaining to give the Lady Eagles a 29-10 advantage.

Zariah Richards got in on the 3-point shooting by draining two straight just a minute apart. Sullivan went up 35-12. They closed the third quarter leading 37-17.

Creek continued her hot shooting into the fourth when she hit a jumper and notched her fourth 3-pointer, doubling up St. James 42-21. 

Sullivan allowed a basket to Hannah Marcee with 5:21 left, but didn’t let up the intensity on defense. St. James wouldn’t score again Rinehart stepped out for another trey with 39 seconds to go.

Sullivan Independent News

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