It is the farthest road trip from one point to another in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference and the Manchester Lady Greyhounds got it out of the way last Thursday night as they traveled to Fairfield to battle the Lady Lions in SHAC action. The Lady Hounds made the long trip worthwhile as they turned a two-point halftime deficit into a double digit victory, downing the Lady Lions 52-35 to improve to 3-2 on the season.
The first quarter was a battle of the “bigs” as both teams went to their tallest players for points, with Manchester’s Hannah Rideout and Fairfield’s Heather Cox each getting three baskets and the frame ending with the Lady Hounds clinging to a slim 12-11 advantage.
It was more of the same for the Lady Lions in the second period as they continued to pound the ball inside to Cox and the senior converted four more buckets, helping the home team grab the lead at the half, 22-20.
Manchester head coach Jason Franklin must have made some serious defensive adjustments in his halftime speech as the Lady Hounds began to collapse on Cox inside and turn those post entry passes into turnovers, which in turn resulted in scores for the Lady Hounds. It was a big offensive third quarter for the visitors as they racked up 24 points and spread it out with Tess Burns getting two baskets, Haylee Adams two baskets (including a three pointer), Rideout getting three more hoops, and Rainelle Casey scoring seven.When the third quarter ended, it was a different ballgame as the Hounds now held a commanding 44-28 lead.
With the big lead, it was just a matter of holding on for the Lady Hounds and they did just that, outscoring Fairfield 8-7 in the final eight minutes to run away with a 52-35 victory, their second in the SHAC.
“it was a tale of two halves tonight,” said Fairfield coach Chad Hamilton after the loss. “We played very well in the first. Our offense was very effective against their zone and we had a halftime lead. The second half we just melted and it wasn’t because of pressure either. We just couldn’t run our offense efficiently and kept looking for something that wasn’t there any more.”
The victorious Lady Hounds were led by two girls in double figures, Hannah Rideout with 18 and Rainelle Casey with 15. Point guard Morgan Johnson added 8, Tess Burns 6, and Haylee Adams 5. Heather Cox of Fairfield led all scorers with 21 points, but the Manchester defense held her to just 7 in the second half.
Manchester is back in action tonight as they play host to Ironton St. Joseph in the first of two meetings between the two teams this season. both non-league affairs. Tomorrow night the Lady Hounds are back in SHAC action, traveling to county rival West Union.
MANCHESTER 12 8 24 8 —52
FAIRFIELD 11 11 6 7 —35
Manchester (52): Burns 3 0-0 6, Adams 2 0-0 5, Johnson 3 2-3 8, Rideout 9 0-2 18, Casey 5 5-7 15, Team 22 7-12 52.
Fairfield (35): Evans 4 0-0 9, Bobb 0 1-2 1, Cox 9 3-4 21, Smithson 20-0 4, Team 15 4-6 35.
Three-Point Goals: Manchester- Adams 1
Fairfield- Evans 1
(The Lady Hounds made another long road trip to Fayetteville on Monday night, where they fell 61-30 to the Lady Rockets, evening their record at 3-3 on the season).