ALMA -- Siloam Springs coach Timothy Rippy had one message for his team as it entered Friday's game against Alma: Play tough defense.
His team heard him loud and clear. In a 45-24 victory over Alma, the Lady Panthers limited the Airedalettes to 13 percent shooting and held them to only six field goals.
"That's what we've been focusing on," said Rippy on his defense. "I felt like that was the area where we could improve the fastest, so we've been stressing it in practice. We really saw it come to fruition tonight. That's probably our best defensive performance of the season."
What resulted were long scoreless stretches for Alma (6-11, 0-3 5A/6A District 1). Sierra Bailey scored with 5 minutes, 40 seconds remaining in the first quarter to give Alma a 4-3 lead, but by the time of Alma's next field goal -- a Zoie McGhee shot from 3-point range -- more than 12 minutes had elapsed, and Siloam Springs (7-11, 2-2) had amassed a 23-10 lead.
"That's been the story of this year for us," said Alma coach coach Codey Mann of his team's scoring lulls. "We missed some shots early and it kind of had a domino effect. We were down 9-7 going in to the second quarter, and it just kind of snowballed from there. ... It's kind of hard to win when you only score five points in the second quarter."
Hadlee Hollenback scored 12 for Siloam Springs to lead all scorers. Chloe Price added 10 for the Lady Panthers. Bailey led Alma with 9.
Siloam Springs 45, Alma 24
Siloam Springs 9 21 5 10-- 45
Alma 7 5 9 3 -- 24
Siloam Springs (7-11, 2-2): Hollenback 12, Price 10, Vaughn 9, Buckminster 6, Noel 5, Shreve 2, Harried 1.
Alma (6-11, 0-3): Bailey 9, Cooper 5, Hoffsommer 4, McGhee 3, Gray 3.
Boys: Alma 61, Siloam Springs 40
Entering Friday's matchup with Siloam Springs, Alma coach Stan Flenor said his team was looking to build confidence as it heads deeper into conference play.
The Airedales' second-half surge against the Panthers could go a long way in providing that. After Kade Wood's tip-in at the buzzer gave Alma a 24-21 halftime lead, the Airedales took control in the second half by scoring 22 points in the third period. The Airedales closed the quarter on a 15-4 run over the final 4:06 that saw their lead swell to 12 as the final period began.
"We wanted to come out in the second half with some energy, and we did," Flenor said.
Siloam Springs coach Tim Stewart credited the Airedales' offensive explosion to his team having tired legs. The Panthers (4-13, 2-2) didn't shoot their first free throws until 2:40 was left in the final period.
"Through that third-quarter stretch, there weren't a lot of fouls, and I think we just got a little bit tired," Stewart said. "We got a little heavy-footed, and they hit some shots and it just kind of ballooned on us....We were a step late seemingly on every possession, and they made their shots."
Garrison Jenson scored 14 points to lead all scorers. Christian Stahler (13), Wood (12), and Tanner Shelton all scored in double figures for Alma (9-6, 2-1).
"We started finding ourselves in the middle of the second quarter," Flenor said. "We got that play at the end of the half, and it sparked us. "
Marquan Sorrells led Siloam Springs with 12 points.
Alma returns to action at Farmington on Tuesday, while Siloam Springs travels to Russellville.
Alma 61, Siloam Springs 40
Alma 8 16 22 13-- 61
Siloam Springs 11 10 13 6 -- 40
Alma (9-6, 2-1): Jensen 14, Stahler 13, Wood 12, Shelton 10, George 6, Johnson 4, Mann 2.
Siloam Springs (4-13, 2-2): Sorrells 12, Perkins 7, Wakefield 7, Lashley 6, Flores 3, Pettit 3, Basby 2.
Sports on 01/13/2018
Print Headline: Basketball: Siloam Springs clamps down Alma