The Couch Lady Indians opened the 2003 season with a 76-65 homecoming win over a spirited group of Van Buren Lady Bulldogs Nov. 25.
The Lady Indians used a big third quarter to open up a tight game at the half, surviving a 30-point eruption from Lady Bulldog Lauren Richardson to post their first win on the young season.
Richardson started the game for Van Buren with the first of her eight 3-pointers on the game to give the Lady Bulldogs a 3-0 lead right out of the blocks.
The Lady Indians answered back with a trey from their own high-scoring guard, senior April Redus, to get Couch going.
Redus led the Lady Indians with 26 points and six assists on the game.
Van Buren hung tough in the first frame and Richardson ended the period with her third triple of the period to give the Lady Bulldogs a 17-13 lead after one. All but two of Richardson's eight bombs on the night were banked in off the glass, adding to the degree of difficulty.
The Lady Bulldogs held the advantage for most of the second period before Redus busted her second 3-ball and hit a pair of free throws to give Couch a 29-28 lead with 2:40 left until the half.
The teams went to intermission with Couch holding a 34-32 lead.
Kim LaBahn (20 points, 10 boards) got Couch off to a fast start in the third with five straight points as the Lady Indians jumped in front 41-34 early in the period.
Caitlyn Melton (12 points) then scored the next eight points for Couch to stake the Lady Indians to a 50-44 lead. Melton also hit a layup at the third period buzzer as the Lady Indians were on top 60-48 after three.
The Lady Bulldogs whittled into the Couch lead in the fourth, 62-55, with another trey from Richardson before Labahn went to work on the low blocks for the Lady Indians.
LaBahn tossed in six straight points to push Couch in front 68-60 with 1:54 to play, before Redus slammed the door on the Lady Bulldogs.
Redus canned her third 3-pointer at the 1:18 mark, and then converted an old-fashioned 3-point play to put Couch in front 74-63 at the 30-second mark.
Two tosses from the charity stripe by Redus rounded out the 76-65 Lady Indian victory.
Sandy LaBahn posted seven points for Couch, while Ashley Hale added four, Tonya Combs three, Vanessa Burgard and Tricia Murdock two apiece for the Lady Indians.
In the Indians' season opener earlier in the evening, a cold shooting performance in the second period proved to be the difference as Couch fell in a big hole and just couldn't climb out, losing to Van Buren 75-58.
The Indians got off to a good start, riding a hot-shooting hand from Derrick Bennett in the first period.
Bennett sank a trey to get the Indians on the board at the 6:08 mark, before draining back-to-back triples minutes later to put Couch up 9-4.
Bennett busted five treys on the night on his way to 20 points for the Indians.
A pair of free throws gave the Indians a 13-12 lead at the end of the first period.
This would be the last time Couch enjoyed the lead as Van Buren moved in front for good in the second.
The Indians struggled from the floor in the second, getting just one field goal, a 3-pointer from Brad Orahood, during the frame.
With both teams in the double-bonus early into the second, the Indians managed to keep close from the charity stripe by hitting seven free throws, until the Bulldogs pulled away late in the frame.
Up 26-21 with 3:27 left until the half, Van Buren broke off a 12-2 run, including a rare 4-point play, that put the Bulldogs up 38-23 at the half.
Van Buren extended their lead in the third, working the low post area to take a 50-31 advantage going into the fourth.
Orahood had a big fourth for Couch, scoring 15 of his 20 points in the frame, but the Bulldogs were never threatened as Couch suffered a 75-58 Homecoming defeat.
B.J. Sorrell logged five points for Couch, while Kevin Price had four.
Adam Crowder and Adam Combs scored two apiece for the Indians.