Lady Raiders Advance to Championship Game
By Marlana Smith
Natalie Thrasher’s game-high 18 points helped guide North Shelby’s 59-53 victory against No. 2 Scotland County on Thursday.
“I am proud of the girls for sticking with it and getting a nice win,” said North Shelby’s coach Landon Daniel.
The Lady Raiders, No. 3 will take on fourth-seed neighboring rival South Shelby. The Lady Birds upset No. 1 seed Schuyler County 47-41.
“South is a rival for sure. But we look at it as we wanted to make it to the championship game of our own tournament, and we would put together a game plan to beat whoever we had to play,” added Daniel.
Thrasher was 5 of 6 from the charity stripe. As a team, North Shelby (10-3) was 16 of 22.
Caroline Linberger contributed 16 points for the Lady Raiders. Ava Williams had 13.
With under five minutes left in the game, Scotland County’s Hannah Feeney went 2 for 2 from the FT line tying the game, 44-44.
Linberger was good for the 3-point play after receiving an inbound pass from Lilly Cook. NS led 47-44.
With 3:01 left in the final period, Feeney swished in a 3-pointer. SC trailed 50-49.
Thrasher’s trey helped maintain North Shelby’s lead. Williams and Thrasher put in a pair at the line with less than two minutes on the clock securing the Lady Raiders’ victory.
North Shelby led 15-9 in the first period. Twelve of those were 3s. Thrasher drained two and Cook scored one.
Williams scored 6 of 11 points for NS in the second quarter.
Scotland County outscored the Lady Raiders 16 to 14 in the third period. Feeney led SC with 13 points.
The Lady Raiders beat SS in an early season game, 70-64.
“The girls are playing with a lot of confidence right now and that makes it even more fun for us,” said Daniel. “South Shelby will be a tough opponent and we know that we are going to have to be ready to play.”
NS and the Lady Birds will go head-to-head Saturday at 6 p.m.