Fleming fuels Lady Owls’ fast start; Trojans post two important wins
Success this fall by the Silex Lady Owls has transitioned into the winter sports as the team has seen a unblemished record on the court.
On Dec. 13, they defeated Bowling Green 69-57. Natalie Fleming scored 28 points and 17 rebounds in the win. Ashley Brown scored 17 points and Aly Miller chipped in 10 points.
It was closely contested for three quarters with the Lady Owls holding a 46-45 lead. In the final period, Silex nailed the win down with a 23-12 edge in scoring.
“It was just a great game between two quality East Missouri Conference teams,” said Silex Coach Robert James. “It went back and forth the entire game but we were able to pull away in the fourth period, making five three-point field goals. Ashley was huge, making five of seven from the three-point range. Natalie did a great job orchestrating the offense. It was just a 100 percent team victory with positive contributions from all players. We played extremely hard in all phases of the game and without that, we had no chance of winning.”
Kelsey Scheder led Bowling Green with 20 points.
On Dec. 15, Fleming again scored 28 points and Leah Miller followed with 15 points in a 55-52 win over Illini West high of Carthage, Ill. Fleming also had 13 rebounds, 8 steals and 6 assists. Silex jumped out to a 19-7 lead after one quarter but Illini West whittled it down to 42-31 going into the fourth quarter. Silex fended off a fourth quarter rally as Illini West held a 21-13 edge in scoring.
“It was another big win against a quality Illinois opponent,” said James. “We weren’t as sharp as we were in the Bowling Green game but was able to shake off late mistakes to close out the game. Leah had a great first half, finishing around the rim with 15 points. Natalie took over the game late and sealed the win.”
Fleming continued with the hot-hand, scoring 33 points and 13 rebounds in a 59-53 win at North Callaway. Brown and Lindsey Barnhart followed with 8 points each. The Lady Owls, trailing 39-34 after three periods, outscored the Lady Thunderbirds 25-14 in the final period to get the win.
“We didn’t play our best ball for three quarters but were able to turn it on in the fourth and finish out the game with a win,” said James. “This was a big conference victory for us as they were undefeated as well on the season. I was proud of our resilience when we got behind. We were able to fight back which has been something we have struggled with in the past.”
Silex is now 9-0 overall and 3-0 in the East Missouri Conference.
Troy Buchanan High Trojans evened their record to 4-4 with a 53-26 win over Fort Zumwalt South. McKala Lawler scored 11 points including two three-point field goals. Haley Meyer and Madeline Thoroughman had six rebounds each.
“We really had great effort from the tip,” said Troy Coach Bryce Gregory. We forced a lot of turnovers and turned them into easy baskets. We shot really well from the floor and held them to only five made field goals the entire game. We had great contributions from all players. McKala came off the bench and did a great job. This was a game we needed to get our confidence back to where it needs to be.”
Troy dominated the game for three quarters leading 18-5 after the first, 30-12 at the half and 52-20 after three periods.
Troy defeated St. Dominic Dec. 17 in a non-conference game. “We got up early and really just coasted the rest of the way,” said Gregory. “We were down three early but scored 14 unanswered points to take the lead (14-3). Foul trouble early changed the pace for us and made some kids play positions they aren’t used to playing.”
Leading the way for Troy was Mimi Henderson with 12 points. “Mimi really did a nice job handling the ball and getting everyone set up,” said Gregory. “Her ability to hassle opponents and get steals has been a big reason for success in the last two games.”
Haley Meyer followed with 9 points, 7 rebounds and 8 blocked shots.
“It’s always hard to beat a team twice especially this early in the season,” said Gregory. “I was proud of our effort and ability to put a team away in the end.”
Haley Meyer scored 14 points helping Troy to a 44-42 win over Fort Zumwalt West in the conference opener for both teams.
Meyer’s two free throws with 36 seconds left to play was the difference in the win. Troy improved their record to 5-4. Another key was making 12 f 16 attempts from the free throw line.
“It was a big game for Haley,” said Coach Gregory. “It was a good win and a lot of the girls contributed.”
Wests led 20-15 at the half but lost the services of freshman Jada Poland in the third period as she was whistled for her fourth personal foul. She sat out the majority of the quarter. Hannah Henderson, who finished with 9 points, made seven points down the stretch.