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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Lady Indians turn up heat on Alton

Thursday, January 15, 2009

BIG NIGHT: Whitney Mills slips past Alton's Jessica Bailey for a layup in Couch's 61-26 win over the Lady Comets. Mills led the Lady Indians with a game-high 27 points. Photo/Mullins
The two things the Couch Lady Indians have been able to hang their hats on through an undefeated run of games to start the 2008 season has been an unwavering defense and a big performance from junior Whitney Mills on a nightly basis.

And both of those things were front and center in the Lady Indians' 61-26 victory over the visiting Alton Lady Comets Jan. 8 in Couch.

The Lady Indians ran, pressed, trapped, swiped and generally kept Alton off balance all evening long with a pressure defense that led to a boatload of takeaways for Couch.

Mills, playing at the attack point of Couch's full-court zone, was more than happy to take those turnovers and cash them into points, as she tossed in a game-high 27 points, outscoring the Lady Comets' total output for the entire game, in three periods worth of work.

Twenty-one of Mills' points came in the first half as the Lady Indians jumped out in front early and never looked back.

Lorra Wicker and Tara Combs (13 points) hit the first two buckets of the game, before Alton's Lacey Hodge stuck back a missed shot three minutes into the first period for the Lady Comets' first points of the game. Hodge paced Alton with nine points.

That's when Mills took things over.

Creating havoc on the defensive end, Mills hit four straight layups off Alton turnovers for an 8-0 run by Couch.

Myranda Reynolds (eight points) broke that run with a jumper, but the next time downcourt for Couch, Mills drilled a 3-pointer and was fouled on the shot, giving her a 4-point play and pushing the Lady Indians on top 17-4.

Hodge racked up her second hoop of the frame at the buzzer, but Alton was in a 23-6 hole after one.

Couch continued to roll in the second period and the Lady Indians reeled off 11 consecutive points to open the stanza.

Reynolds hit Alton's first bucket of the second with 3:10 left until the half.

The Lady Comets closed the first on a positive note thanks to an old-fashioned 3-point play from Hodge and a hoop from Mickey Moulder (four points), but Couch was still in command with a 43-13 advantage at intermission.

Alton's big stretch of the night came inside the opening of the third period.

Becca See hit two free throws and Jessica Bailey nailed a 3-pointer to jumpstart a 7-2 run for the Lady Comets.

But Mills was there to stop that spurt and start an 8-2 burst for the home team.

The Lady Indians kept things flowing their way for the remainder of the third and led 53-24 after three, en route to a big 61-26 win over their Oregon County rivals from Alton.

Stephanie Nessling finished with four points for Couch, while Rachel Armstead had three. Crystal Britt, Lizzie Nessling, Aminta Garrison and Jordan Hale tallied two points each for the Lady Indians.

The next night, Jan. 9, Couch was able to enjoy a happy homecoming as the Indians repelled the Comets 69-36.

The Indians led early, but really put the game away by outscoring Alton 28-8 in the third period.

Eddie Meier paced Couch with 16 points, while Josh Carter had 12 and Blake Martin posted 10. Cody Roberts and Derrick Martin finished with eight points apiece. Brad Hopper and Derek Orchard logged four points each, Brandin Orahood scored three, with Chris Taylor and Zain Hopper ending the game with two points apiece.

Stetson Neldon led Alton with 12, while Tyler Thompson finished with 11. Jeff Peace finished with five points and Kevin Smith had three. Tim Crews and Thomas Prill scored two points each, with Brent Tackitt posting one point for the Comets.

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