FORT BRANCH—After defeating one SIAC team Monday night, the Gibson Southern girl’s basketball team welcomed another to town in ICGSA No. 5 Evansville Memorial Tuesday night.
After jumping out a to lead after the first half, Gibson Southern wasn’t able to hold off a second half blitz from the Lady Tigers, falling 64-51.
The first quarter was competitive, with both teams trying to find a rhythm on offense. Memorial took an early lead, 11-10 on the back of good free throw shooting due to the amount of fouls being called. Their were 16 total in the first half alone, which would play a major role in how the game ended. The whistle was tight for the majority of the evening, and both teams had to adjust.
Gibson Southern found their footing in the second quarter, winning it 20-13 and taking 30-24 lead into the break. Meredith Raley had 12 and Tabby Klem had 6 at halftime for Gibson Southern.
“I think the big thing in that quarter was we limited their possessions, which gave us energy on offense. When we slowed down offensively we were a lot more efficient tonight. We weren’t taking the first good shot, we were passing it up to get a great shot,” Gibson Southern coach Kyle Brasher said.
Whatever Memorial coach Bruce Dockery said in the locker room at the half worked, as the Lady Tigers came roaring back in the third quarter, using high intensity defense to turn over the Lady Titans. Memorial led after three, 43-40, completely erasing the lead built up by Gibson Southern.
“I think they just kind of wanted it more, they were the more aggressive team, diving after lose balls. They beat us on offensive boards. They were the better team in the second half, hands down,” Brasher said.
The fourth quarter was much the same as the third, as Memorial was able to expand their lead and finish off Gibson Southern by 13. A big moment for the Lady Titans was Raley fouling out in the final quarter with 6:48 to play. At the time, Raley’s 18 points led all scorers.
“Obviously Meredith’s a big scoring presence for us. It takes a way that big cog in the middle. We got to move the ball a little better when she’s out, look for some pins and some skips and try to create mismatches that way,” Brasher said.
The loss snaps a four-game win streak for the Lady Titans, who now sit at 5-3 (1-0). Memorial bounces back from a weekend loss against Castle, another state-ranked team, and moves to 4-1 (1-1).
Leading the way for Memorial was the backcourt duo of Ryleigh Anslinger and Soffia Rieckers, who each had 15 points. Raley led all scorers with her 18, while Klem and Shay Whitten each had 11 for Gibson Southern.
Up next for Gibson Southern is another home game Thursday, when they will take on Mt. Vernon. That game will tip at 7 p.m.