Siloam Springs saved its best for the second half in rallying to beat Alma on Wednesday night.
The Lady Panthers rallied from a 13-point deficit to clip the Airedalettes 49-45 in 5A/6A District 1 action at Panther Activity Center.
The game was played on Wednesday after icy weather forced the postponement on Tuesday's originally scheduled playing date.
Alma led 29-16 late in the second quarter and 31-21 at halftime. The Lady Panthers pulled within 37-36 to start the fourth quarter after outscoring Alma 15-6 in the third and took the lead for good to open the fourth on a 3-pointer by Jael Harried.
Siloam Springs pulled ahead by as many as seven points in the fourth quarter and Morgan Vaughn's free throws with 12.7 seconds left sealed the win.
"We didn't panic tonight," said Siloam Springs coach Tim Rippy. "You could kind of tell at halftime we needed something positive to happen, but we talked about just staying the course. What we're doing is good enough, but we've just got to execute a little bit better and finish better, and we started to do that midway through the third quarter.
"Then I felt like we gave up some key rebounds, but down the stretch we started getting them all. I thought that was a big response by our team to answer that challenge."
Alma, which only scored 24 points against Siloam Springs in a 45-24 loss on Jan. 12, came out hot in the first half and hit five 3-pointers.
A 3-pointer from Brooke Yates gave the Airedalettes a 29-16 lead, but Vaughn answered with a 3-pointer and Emery Brown scored inside to bring the Lady Panthers to within 10 points at the half.
"We struggled early in the ballgame on the offensive end, mainly just finishing and making free throws," Rippy said. "Defensively, there wasn't a lot to correct. Alma was making some tough deep shots, and we knew that they were capable of that. They shot it really well in the first half but didn't shoot it well in the second half."
Hadlee Hollenback got the Siloam Springs rally started in the third with a pair of free throws, followed by a Kenlie Noel bucket and 3-pointer banked in by Vaughn to make it 33-28.
Alma went on a 4-0 run to go up 37-28, but Siloam Springs ended the half on an 8-0 surge. Shelby Johnson scored two baskets and hit two free throws, and Hollenback scored inside to bring the Lady Panthers within 37-36.
Harried's 3-pointer to open the fourth gave the Lady Panthers a 39-37 lead. Vaughn then hit a free throw and Brown scored inside to make it 42-38.
Harried found Vaughn with a nice pass inside for a 44-40 lead and the Lady Panthers extended to 47-40 with a little more than a minute to play, completing a 26-9 run from the halftime score.
"We switched to a zone just to try and change it up a little to see if we could throw them out of rhythm. I think that bothered them. We were able to turn them over a couple of times. Then we went back to man (defense), and I think when we went back to man I thought we did a much better job of staying in front of the basketball one-on-one, as far as not getting beat on dribble penetration. Because of that they didn't get as many wide open looks, and I thought every shot we were able to challenge."
Missed free throws from the Lady Panthers allowed Alma to close within 47-45, and Alma had a chance to tie after Harried missed two more free throws, but the Airedalettes turned the ball over on Siloam Springs' end of the floor. That allowed the Lady Panthers to get the ball to Vaughn, who was fouled and hit two foul shots to set the final score.
"That's been the story this year," said Alma coach Codey Mann. "We're 7-16, and that's what a 7-16 team does. You're not fortunate to have the right calls on the road. Right now, we're just not good enough to overcome that kind of stuff. We have trouble playing through some things.
"We're good enough to compete with a lot of people. We're just having trouble winning games. A great example of that is 47-45, a girl misses the front end of a 1-and-1 and we get the rebound and turn it over. That's been this whole year."
Vaughn led Siloam Springs with 18 points, while Hollenback had 11, Johnson eight, and Kenlie Noel, Harried and Brown each with four. The Lady Panthers played without junior point guard Chloe Price, who was out with a concussion.
"It's good to get one when your point guard doesn't play," Rippy said. "And so we were able to respond. That's a good win for our team. I think we'll have a lot of kids that gain some confidence from what they did tonight."
Cassidy Cooper led Alma with 13 points.
Siloam Springs 49, Alma 45
Alma 19 12 6 8 -- 45
Siloam Springs 13 8 15 13 -- 49
Alma (7-16, 1-8): Cooper 13, McGhee 9, Hoffsommer 8, Bailey 7, Yates 5, Duncan 3.
Siloam Springs (8-17, 4-6): Vaughn 18, Hollenback 11, Johnson 8, Noel 4, Harried 4, Brown 4.Sports on 02/11/2018
Print Headline: Second half best for SSHS girls