Lady Titans down Tecumseh, secure control of PAC race

Grant Essenmacher/Daily Clarion Gibson Southern's Meredith Raley pictured at the free throw line in a game earlier this season. Raley scored 18 in the Lady Titans win over Tecumseh Thursday.

FORT BRANCH-- Entering the Thursday night, just two PAC girls basketball teams had an unblemished conference record, while everyone else had two losses or more.

This made the showdown in Fort Branch between Gibson Southern and Tecumseh a game that the Lady Titans almost had to have. A win would allow them to control their own destiny, and put them in the drivers seat for a PAC championship.

Kyle Brasher's bunch responded, playing well to defeat the Lady Braves, 88-70. The 88 points was their highest scoring output of the year.

Gibson Southern wasted no time, getting out to an early 22-10 lead after one quarter. The dominance continued in the second quarter, as the Lady Titans once again eclipsed 20 points in the frame to get out to a 46-27 lead at the break, saving one of the year's best performances for a game that they needed it the most.

Tecumseh, who entered the night 15-1 overall and 5-0 in PAC play coached by Adam Lubbehusen, would not go quietly into the night. The Lady Braves made a run coming out of the halftime break, at one point cutting a 28-point deficit to just 13 points in the second half.

But ultimately, the cushion the Lady Titans built up in the first half proved to be the difference as they were able to cruise to the 18 point win despite losing the second half to the Lady Braves. As it has been much of the season, Gibson Southern's scoring effort was balanced but led by Tabby Klem and Meredith Raley.

Klem finished with 19 on the evening, Raley posted 18. Junior Claire Jones had 15 while sophomore Kami Miller chipped in 11. The win gives Gibson Southern their 10th in a row, dating back to an early December loss to Evansville Memorial.

The Lady Titans now have a game lead over Tecumseh, with the tiebreaker in hand, and a two game lead over the third place team Heritage Hills who is 4-2 in the conference. Their remaining games in conference include a Jan. 15 game at Heritage Hills, a Jan. 17 game at Southridge and a season finale Jan. 25 game vs North Posey.

Victories over Heritage Hills and Southridge next week would guarantee the Lady Titans at least a share of the conference title, while winning the remaining conference games would give them a perfect 8-0 PAC record, and an outright conference championship, their third straight.

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