By BRETT MARSHALL
SCOTT CITY — There were many firsts for the Wichita County Lady Indians in their opening round game of the Scott City Invitational.
The biggest one was the 54-52 come-from-behind victory over cross county rival Greeley County.
The second was it was the first time the Lady Indians (2-0) had won a first round game in the tournament.
And the third was that it was not just senior Hannah Mehl who contributed to this victory, which was only assured when Greeley County's Shalee Myers missed a potential game-winning 3-point basket with four seconds left in the game and Lindsey Estes grabbed the rebound as time expired.
For Mehl, one of the top players in The Telegram area the past two seasons, it was another big night as the 5-8 forward scored 17 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to improve their record to 2-0.
More important, though, was the contribution of her teammates, especially sophomore Riley Matteson and senior Lindsey Estes, who provided much-needed scoring support with 14 and 11 points, respectively.
"At practice I've seen (scoring ability) but this is the first time we've had it in a game," said a beaming Mehl afterward. "Finally, everybody was getting confident and I think we got some of the jitters out of the way."
Mehl set up many of her teammates' shots with pinpoint passes and played an overall strong floor game.
"I'm just trying to get my passes to them and get everyone involved," Mehl said.
The irony of the victory for Wichita County coach Jason Wells was that when Mehl drew her fourth foul with 2:19 to play in the third quarter, his Lady Indians were down by eight, 41-33.
All the team did from there was outscore the Lady Jackrabbits 9-0 to take a 42-41 lead into the final eight minutes.
"I don't know where it came from but I challenged them at halftime," Wells said of his team's first victory over Greeley County in many years.
"We built some momentum but the turnovers just about got us again late. We've still got some things to address but we finally learned how to win a game like this. It's a big confidence boost."
For Greeley County coach Tom Farmer, whose team led 17-15 after one period and 33-21 at halftime, the second half seemed like the worst part of a roller-coaster.
"We were like a yo-yo, up and down, the whole night," Farmer said. "We didn't take care of the ball (19 turnovers, 11 of which came in the final two quarters). That's a cardinal sin in basketball."
Seven of those turnovers came in that pivotal third quarter when Wichita County outscored Greeley County 21-8.
"When you get up, you've got to take care of the lead and you've gotta have the determination to fight it off," Farmer said of his team's third quarter meltdown.
"It got worse. It didn't stop. I hope we learn to get better from this. We've got a lot of work in practice to do if we want to get better."
Senior Haylie Greeson led the Lady Jackrabbits (1-1) with 16 points and sophomore Monica Veleta added 12, including three 3-pointers.
Wichita County advances to the semifinals at 8 p.m. Friday against Scott City which drew a first-round bye in the seven-team field.
Greeley County drops into the consolation bracket and plays at 5 p.m. Thursday against the loser of Wednesday's Holcomb-Lakin game, which tips off at 6:30 p.m.
Greeley Co. 17 16 8 11 -- 52
Wichita Co. 15 6 21 12 -- 54
Greeley Co. (1-1) — Schneider 2-7 1-6 5, Greeson 5-9 6-6 16, Crittenden 2-7 5-8 9, Nemechek 0-3 0-0 0, Robertson 3-7 0-0 6, Veleta 5-10 0-0 12, Myers 2-8 0-0 4. Totals 19-51 12-20 52.
Wichita Co. (2-0) — Clark 0-2 0-0 0, Estes 4-14 0-0 11, Schumacher 2-9 2-2 7, Huber 0-0 0-0 0, Mehl 7-13 2-5 17, Graff 2-4 0-1 5, Wells 0-2 0-0 0, Matteson 4-9 6-12 14, Zellner 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-53 10-20 54.
3-point field goals — Greeley Co. 2-9 (Greeson 0-2, Robertson 0-1, Veleta 2-4, Myers 0-2), Wichita Co. 6-12 (Estes 3-6, Schumacher 1-2, Mehl 1-2, Graff 1-2). Fouls — Greeley Co. 17, Wichita Co. 16. Fouled out — Greeley Co. (Greeson). Rebounds — Greeley Co. 37 (Crittenden 12), Wichita Co. 39 (Mehl 17). Turnovers — Greeley Co. 19, Wichita Co. 15.