By BRETT MARSHALL
SCOTT CITY — You wouldn’t necessarily want to call Friday night’s Great West Activities Conference opener for the Scott City Lady Beavers and Ulysses Lady Tigers a charity game.
But then, it might go a long way in describing the battle between two teams searching for their first victory of the young season.
And in the end, it was charities at the free throw line that provided the Beavers the necessary advantage in escaping with a 46-36 victory over the Tigers.
It was the final game before the holiday break for new Scott City coach Lori Oestreicher and her team.
“I told the girls it was a brand new season and we’re 1-0 in the league,” Oestreicher said with a sense of relief. “Our free throwing down the stretch was good (20-of-27 for the game and 14-of-15 in the fourth quarter) and you always like to see that.”
That was the spark that allowed the Beavers to move from a narrow 33-30 lead with 3:20 left in the game and make it a 39-30 advantage at the 1:21 mark.
Senior Janessa Lowenthal also proved to be the difference in the game, as the 5-11 center had game highs of 22 points and 19 rebounds.
“She was big inside for us, and for us to be a good team, we’ve got to find her the ball down there,” Oestreicher said.
Turnovers, though, were once again an area that kept both teams from having any continuity on the offensive end. Scott City committed 38 miscues to 27 for Ulysses.
“A lot of our turnovers tonight were off the dribble and where we were trying to pass,” Oestreicher said. “I did think we read the defense a lot better, but obviously we’ve still got some work to do.”
Lowenthal’s 19 boards helped her team own a 49-42 advantage in that department, while Morgan Price grabbed nine rebounds and led Ulysses in scoring with 10 points. The Lady Tigers fall to 0-5 while the Beavers are now 1-3.
Four different players were able to knock down free throws in the final 1:48 to ice the game.
A low-scoring third quarter gave Scott City a 26-22 lead heading into the fourth period, after the Beavers had just been in front 20-17 at intermission.
It was a struggle for both teams at the outset, as the Beavers turned it over six times in the first quarter while the Tigers were guilty of five miscues during the same stretch.
Lowenthal got the Lady Beavers off to a good start, scoring her team’s first six points, all on close-range baskets inside the paint. That produced a 9-2 Scott City lead with 3:14 remaining. They finished the quarter, though, up by just three, 11-8.
Things were pretty much the same in the second quarter, each team committing double-digit turnovers to outpace the points scored.
Bailey Nickel and Lowenthal scored late buckets for the Beavers to give them a 20-17 halftime lead.
Ulysses 8 9 5 14 — 36
Scott City 11 9 6 20 — 46
Ulysses (36) — Gallegos 2-11 3-4 7, A. Langley 0-12 2-4 2, Price 4-12 2-5 10, S. Langley 0-1 0-0 0, Arnold 0-3 0-1 0, Branscum 1-8 3-7 5, Najera 2-6 0-0 6, Calderwood 2-13 2-2 6. Totals 11-66 12-23 36.
Scott City (46) — Faurot 0-1 0-0 0, Wilcoxson 0-1 2-2 2, Davis 2-5 2-2 6, Hoeme 1-3 3-7 5, Wycoff 0-3 3-4 3, Nickel 3-7 2-2 8, Lowenthal 7-16 8-10 22. Totals 13-36 20-27 46.
3-point goals—Ulysses 2-16 (Gallegos 0-3, A. Langley 0-3, Arnold 0-1, Branscum 0-3, Najera 2-4, Calderwood 0-2), Scott City 0-2 (Davis 0-1, Wycoff 0-1). Rebounds—Ulysses 42 (Price 9), Scott City 49 (Lowenthal 19). Turnovers—Ulysses 27, Scott City 38. Fouls—Ulysses 22, Scott City 19. Fouled out—Scott City (Nickel).