By Will Willems
With its leading scorer and leader in foul trouble, the Class 3A No. 3 Lebanon Lady Tigers needed some other people to step up Friday night in its rivalry game against Western Boone.
The Tigers got it – and then some. Kristen Spolyar scored 32 points and Aspen Davis added two big fourth-quarter 3-pointers as the Tigers erased a 10-point third-quarter deficit in a 61-53 win.
“She is a freshman and it is going to be up and down and it has been up and down for her,” Lebanon head coach Beth DeVinney said of Spolyar. “She struggles at times and then turns around and has a performance like this. You have to give her teammates a lot of credit. Katie (Curtis) has played really unselfish this year. She is capable of scoring the same kind of points but she is dishing the ball to the open person and she is the kind of player that doesn’t care if she has eight assists and Kristen has the 30 points because the Lebanon Lady Tigers win. You have to give Aspen Davis a lot of credit tonight. This was a huge game for her. I thought it was her best game of the season. Kallee Rice comes in and hit a huge shot and gave us great spark and good rebounds. Carly Greene was silent leader, didn’t score a lot tonight, but worked her butt off.”
Western Boone led 33-23 with 4:23 to go in the third quarter after back-to-back baskets by Nicole Chance. After a Lebanon timeout, the Tigers got eight-straight points (two 3s) in 55 seconds from Spolyar to cut the lead to two.
After another Star turnover, Kallee Rice tied the game with a long two and Curtis gave the Tigers the lead with a 3-pointer with 1:53 left in the third quarter.
The teams traded the lead four more times the rest of the quarter, with the Stars leading 42-40 after 24 minutes.
“For the majority of the game we executed the game-plan tremendously,” Western Boone head coach Rich Schelsky said. “We kept them in front of us, forced them to shoot outside shots and really dictated the tempo of the game. We controlled everything and then there was that little spurt. We knew how good they are and how good they were offensively and that they were capable of making runs. It was just that little spurt in the third quarter where they went on the big run and our kids got a little sped up and a little panicked. That was really the game right there. With that being said, our kids went nose-to-nose with one of the best teams in our class for 32 minutes and I think we proved tonight that there isn’t too much between us. For us to come into their gym and have a 10-point lead in the second — we grew up tonight. Even though we lost and we do like losing and it stinks losing to our rivals, I found my basketball team tonight and that is a team that is going to have to be reckoned with the rest of the season.”
For more of this story, read Saturday's Lebanon Reporter.