By BRETT MARSHALL
TRIBUNE — There were plenty of distractions for Greeley County between Friday's Western Kansas Liberty League win over Healy and Saturday's non-league home game with Stanton County.
The biggest distraction was Homecoming, which was celebrated Friday, but the dance was scheduled for Saturday following the games with the Trojans. And, senior guard Kelli Crittenden was crowned queen.
"It was a little difficult getting up (today) and realizing we had another game to play," Crittenden said after scoring a game-high 19 points (9-of-9 free throws and a pair of 3-point baskets) to pace the Lady Jackrabbits to a 65-42 romp over Stanton County.
With the win, Greeley County improved its record to 14-3 moving into the final stretch of the regular season.
"I kept looking up (at the scoreboard) and I didn't feel as though we were as crisp as we were the night before (73-19 rout of Healy), but then I'd see we were double digit with the lead, so perhaps the old coach is just a bit too critical in his analysis," Greeley County coach Tom Farmer said.
But Farmer did find things for his team to work on as they return to practice in preparation for a WKLL matchup with Dighton on Tuesday. For example, the Jackrabbits turned the ball over 22 times and trailed 16-11 after a sluggish start.
A 25-4 explosion in the second quarter put Stanton County (7-8) on their heels and they never recovered.
"We had that good spurt and managed to keep it there," Farmer said. "We were able to work on a different number of defensive sets that we hope will help us when he head into the postseason. We've got to be able to have an effective press for us to be successful because of our lack of height."
The Jackrabbits forced the Trojans into 28 miscues of their own. But the biggest variance in the game came at the free throw line where Greeley County converted 30 Stanton County fouls into a 32-of-45 free throw performance.
A 36-20 halftime lead dwindled to 11 early in the third period, but Greeley County withstood the surge and maintained its advantage the rest of the game.
"I guess I just need to keep looking for a silver lining, but Kelli's performance is not surprising," Farmer said. "She's capable of taking over if we need her to, but we're obviously a lot better when we got a lot of people scoring."
For Crittenden, the closing moments of her final prep season are becoming special. It was her junior year that was lost when she had to undergo surgery on both legs to relieve the pain of a condition called compartment compression syndrome in her lower legs and had to undergo major surgery in September of 2008.
It has taken her a good portion of the season to get back to the form.
"I'll never be back to the same as before with my legs, but I do think I've become a more complete player," Crittenden said. "My confidence is back up and I think I've gotten a lot better at using my right hand and I feel my shot's coming back, too."
Greeley Co. 65, Stanton Co. 42
STANTON CO. (7-8) — Summers 3-6 0-0 6, Batterton 1-3 1-6 4, Erskin 0-4 0-1 0, Daniels 0-3 0-0 0, Martin 4-14 3-4 12, Nichols 4-7 3-5 11, Siruta 4-6 1-2 9. Totals 16-43 8-18 42.
GREELEY CO. (14-3) — Greeson 0-4 4-6 4, Kelcy Crittenden 0-3 6-9 6, Kelli Crittenden 5-11 9-9 21, Glazier 0-1 0-0 0, Bender 5-10 2-6 13, Robertson 1-3 1-2 3, Myers 3-6 5-6 11, Moser 0-0 3-6 3, Lehman 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 15-39 32-46 65.
Stanton Co. 16 4 15 7 -- 42
Greeley Co. 11 25 15 14 -- 65
3-point goals — Stanton Co. 2-8 (Summers 0-2, Batterton 1-2, Daniels 0-1, Martin 1-3), Greeley Co. 3-11 (Greeson 0-1, Crittenden 2-8, Bender 1-2). Rebounds — Stanton Co. 28 (Nichols 9), Greeley Co. 34 (Myers, Moser 6 each). Turnovers — Stanton Co. 28, Greeley Co. 22. Fouls — Stanton Co. 31, Greeley Co. 15. Fouled out — Stanton Co. (Summers, Daniels, Siruta).