By BRETT MARSHALL
ULYSSES — When the Ulysses Lady Tigers basketball team boarded its bus on Dec. 18 to head home from Larned, they had a sour taste in their mouth after a 10-point setback.
That sour taste had been motivation through the holiday practice schedule for first-year coach Eric Flaton and his squad.
Tuesday night, the Tigers tasted the sweetness of success by holding off Mid-State Activities Association rival Scott City 52-42.
"It's a huge win anytime you beat Scott City because they always have good teams," Flaton said. "We were able to do enough things right that we managed the game well in the last quarter."
A nip-and-tuck much of the game with Scott City holding a 10-9 first quarter advantage, Ulysses bounced back to go up 22-21 at halftime. The slim margin increased to 36-32 after the third quarter.
In the final eight minutes, the Lady Beavers could get no closer than three, the last time at 39-36, with 5:34 remaining. Nine straight Tiger points though, proved too much for the Scott City to overcome.
Ulysses won the game at the free throw line, converting 17-of-24 and 10-of-14 in the final quarter.
"We talked about free throws being the key to the game before," Scott City coach Mark Campos said. "We wanted to make more free throws than they shot, but it was reversed."
It was the first game in 24 days for the Beavers, who lost to Holcomb in the championship game of their own invitational on Dec. 12.
"I think the three weeks off hurt, we had a lot of rust," Campos said. "You just can't simulate the pressure, heart and determination of the other team without being on the floor to compete."
Ulysses (5-2) was led in scoring by senior Jayde Jarnagin and sophomore Kaylea Britton with 14 points apiece.
"I'm glad the team meshed tonight," Jarnagin said. "We played our game and we had a lot of motivation after the Larned game. It was definitely the most intensity we've played with so far."
Jarnagin, who also grabbed six rebounds, has been one of the key inspirational leaders for Flaton.
"She's our leader, she takes over and she plays everything from post to guard and came up big again for us," Flaton said.
Jarnagin was quick to credit her sophomore teammate, Britton, for much of the team's success.
"She was awesome tonight (14 points, 9 rebounds) and she's such a presence inside," Jarnagin said of Britton. "We were able to continually change our defenses and Kaylea just makes things difficult inside for the other team."
The Tigers hit 17-of-37 field goals (45.9 percent) compared to 19-of-46 (41.3 percent) for the Beavers (2-2), who for the second straight game were without a 3-pointer. Scott City has gone 0-for-23 in their two losses. The Beavers did own a 32-26 rebounding advantage with Justine Woofter grabbing nine. Turnovers proved costly to Scott City as they committed 25. Ulysses had 17 turnovers. Emily Hess was the lone double-figure scorer for Scott City with 11 points.
Ulysses and Scott City will both be on the road on Friday as the Tigers travel to Hays to face Thomas More Prep-Marian, and the Beavers are at Pratt. Both are MSAA contests.
Ulysses 52, Scott City 42
Scott City (2-2) 10 11 11 10 — 42
Ulysses (5-2) 9 13 14 16 — 52
SCOTT CITY (42) — Hess 5-8 1-2 11, Stucky 1-1 0-1 2, Glunz 2-9 1-2 5, Woofter 4-5 0-3 8, Shearmire 3-9, 0-0 6, O'Neil 0-4 0-0 0, Baker 1-4 2-2 4, Chelemedos 3-6 0-2 6. Totals 19-46 4-12 42.
ULYSSES (52) — Meierhoff 3-4 1-2 7, Jarnagin 3-5 8-10 14, McCauley 2-9 2-6 7, Anthony 3-5 2-2 8, Spencer 0-1 0-0 0, Monzon 0-1 0-0 0, Britton 5-10 4-4 14, Rodriguez 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 17-37 17-24 52.
3-point goals — Scott City 0-8 (Hess 0-1, Glunz 0-1, Shearmire 0-1, O'Neil 0-4, Baker 0-1), Ulysses 1-4 (Jarnagin 0-1, McCauley 1-2, Anthony 0-1). Rebounds — Scott City 32 (Woofter 9), Ulysses 26 (Britton 9). Turnovers — Scott City 25, Ulysses 17. Fouls — Scott City 15, Ulysses 17. Fouled out — Scott City (Glunz, Woofter), Ulysses (none).