Warriors upset by Wayne County

Feb. 6—In the midst of four games in a week, the Warriors returned to the Wig Wam on Monday evening to host the Wayne County Lady Cardinals in district action. The last time these two teams got together it was the Warriors winning via a last-second shot, but Southwestern had the advantage in recent series history, winning the last eight games.

This one came down to the wire as well. After the Cardinals pushed ahead in the third quarter, it was the Warriors making a late run to take the lead in the fourth. However, some key mistakes allowed Wayne to earn a 57-53 victory over their rivals, snapping the Warriors' winning streak.

Megan Loudermilk had a quick path to the basket for the first points of the ball game. Freshman Kelci Debord answered on the other end, with junior Alexis Coyle hitting a free throw to give Wayne their first lead early in the first quarter. Jaelyn Dye had a basket to flip the lead back to the home team and soon it was the Warriors on top 6-4 following two made at the charity stripe by Kinsley Molden.

It was soon a barrage of three-pointers, as senior Cami Debord nailed one, followed by Loudermilk after an offensive rebound, followed soon after by a three from senior Jordan Collom to give the Cards a 10-9 edge. Loudermilk had another basket to tie the game up shortly before the end of the period before a two from sophomore Adeline Heatherly put the visitors up 14-12 heading into the second.

Payton Acey got herself going to open the second quarter, as she scored six of the first eight points to put Southwestern on top 18-16. After baskets from Molden and Dye, the lead for the Warriors increased to 22-18. A three from Kelci Debord got the Cardinals within just one point before Loudermilk and Acey went back-to-back from inside to push the lead back to five.

Cami Debord got into some foul trouble and eighth grader Harlow Clark came off the bench, with Clark proceeding to explode on the offensive end of the court. She scored 10 of the final 14 points of the period, all in the paint, to give Wayne County a 33-28 lead heading into the locker room. Jordyn McDonald scored the lone points late for Southwestern during a 12-2 run for the Lady Cards.

The lead for Wayne County shockingly was pushed to double digits after Coyle made two from downtown early on in the second half, as the Cards were on top 40-30. A 7-2 run by the Warriors, with Dye and Acey scoring two each and McDonald nailing a shot from deep, cut that lead in half as they trailed 42-37.

Kelci Debord and Collom pushed the lead back to 10 points late in the period and it seemed like the Warriors were heading to their second-straight loss. McDonald gave them a bit of hope heading into the final quarter though, as she hit a massive three-pointer at the buzzer to make the Wayne County lead sit at 47-40.

Acey scored four straight inside and Dye drilled a three and all of a sudden the game was tied at 47-47. Here comes the Warriors, or so the crowd thought. A basket from Coyle was followed by two-pointers from Dye and Molden and finally Southwestern had a lead again at 51-49. After four straight from Collom, the lead flipped back to the Cards and this one was heading down to the wire.

Loudermilk was fouled and hit both at the line to tie the game up at 53-53 late in the fourth. It was ultimately free throws that decided the ball game as well, as the Cardinals went 4-6 from the stripe down the stretch. A few unfortunate turnovers sealed the deal and Wayne County celebrated a few moments later, as they upset Southwestern 57-53 and broke their long losing streak to them.

The Warriors were led by Acey, who recorded a strong 14 points and 19 rebounds for a double-double in the loss, as well as Loudermilk with 13 and Dye with 11. Other scorers included McDonald with eight, Molden with six and Jessalyn Flynn with one. Wayne County was led by Collom with 14 points.

Southwestern falls to 15-8 but will still be the number one seed in the 48th District Tournament with a 4-1 district record, clinching a spot in the 12th Region Tournament as a result. They will be at the Wig Wam for their next two games this week, as they welcome in Bowling Green on Tuesday before squaring off with Pulaski County on Friday.