LENOX – In a game that came down to the last 30 seconds, Southwest Valley took down Lenox 50-46 Tuesday night..
The Timberwolves moved to 8-8 (5-5) while Lenox dropped to 8-7 (3-6).
Lenox scored in the first possession, but Lenox’s Jynessa Cox knocked down a 3-pointer to respond. That was the only lead the Tigers held until 3:31 in the third quarter, when the Tigers started to make things interesting.
“Everybody probably remembers a play or two at the end or the fourth quarter, but really, we didn’t start very well,” said Lenox head coach Jesse Cox. “We weren’t focused and that’s really where the game was lost. If we would have come out, played with the intensity and intelligence in the first four minutes that we did the rest of the game, we probably finish out on top.”
Starting the wild finish with 1:30 left on the clock, both teams were in the double bonus and going back-and-forth with free throws.
Southwest Valley’s Norah Lund scored on a layup with a foul for a chance to make it a 3-point play. Lund missed the free throw and Lenox’s Jordan England responded with two free throws of her own after a foul.
Jentry Schafer knocked down two free throws for the Timberwolves to extend the lead to 47-42. After two missed free-throws for Lenox and an empty possession for Southwest Valley, Lund broke up a pass to score two points.
The Timberwolves knocked down one more free throw for their 50th point. On the inbounds, Lenox tried to move the ball up the floor, but Lund iced the game with a steal.
“She’s so good that any time I need help or think of someone for a quick sub, Norah comes straight to my head just because she does a lot of the little things well,” said Southwest Valley head coach Michael Webb. “She’s always in good spacing, she’s always talking and the effort is always there.”
Lund scored 10 points for Southwest Valley. Schafer led the team in scoring with 18 points. Lund and Schafer were the only two Timberwolves in double-digit scoring.
Lenox fights its way back
After starting the game slow against Southwest Valley’s press, Lenox started to break the press with Cassidy Nelson running the floor for the Tigers.
“Got a lot of faith in her. She’s the press breaker,” said Cox on Nelson. “Thinks she can take it, take it. … Just when we needed a big play, she made it.”
The Timberwolves struggled offensively in the second quarter, not getting the ball in the post and having problems with the Tigers’ press defense.
“We were having issues with the press, and we’ve faced way harder presses than this,” said Webb. “Even their half-court pressure, they were extending. We could get by, but for some reason we were seeing someone in front of us and we felt pressured by it. ... We definitely wanted to use (Schafer’s) height and want to keep getting it to her. We were just a little flat tonight.”
During Lenox’s fight back into the game, the Tigers never felt out of the game and in control for most of the second half despite trailing 23-20 at halftime.
Nelson took over in the second half, scoring 11 of her 21 points in the final two frames. Defensively, she created turnovers by jumping in the passing lanes or playing pressure defense.
Webb showed praise for Lenox’s guard, but said the Timberwolves’ defense created opportunities for her to score and make plays.
“She is a shooter,” said Webb. “... I think more or less our defense was kind of breaking down. We weren’t talking, we were over rotating, weren’t communicating, so we left wide-open shooters and she was on fire tonight.”
Cox said the boost from Nelson gave the Tigers a chance, but harped on the lack of focus early, resluting in the outcome.
“I really believe, the first four minutes, if we were plugged in like we needed to be, we probably would have come away with the victory,” Cox said.
UP NEXT – Lenox hosts Nodaway Valley Thursday at 6 p.m. Southwest Valley travels to Wayne Thursday for a 6 p.m. start.
SWV 50, Lenox 46
SWV (50) — 17 6 12 15
LENOX (46) — 12 8 13 13
SWV (FG FT PTS) — Totals — 20 8-13 50. Jentry Schafer 7 4-4 18, Norah Lund 5 0-3 10, Rylee Jacobs 2 1-1 6, MaKayla Houck 2 2-2 6, Jilliam Simmons 1 1-2 4, Hallie Pearson 2 0-0 4, Jordyn Figgins 1 0-0 2. 3-point goals (2) – Simmons, Jacobs. Team fouls – 17. Fouled out – None.
LENOX (FG FT PTS) — Totals —14 14-20 46. Cassidy Nelson 5 9-12, Jordan England 4 5-8 13, McKinna Hogan 2 0-0 5 Jynessa Cox 1 0-0 3, Cadence Douglas 1 0-0 2, Kambrie Michel 1 0-0 2. 3-point goals (4) — Nelson 2, Hogan 1, Cox 1. Team fouls — 15. Fouled out — None.