By PAUL HINES
MT. VERNON —
The Lady Rams spent most of Thursday’s game trying to shake off the Effingham St. Anthony Bulldogs.
Mt. Vernon never got a comfortable lead but managed a 41-33 win.
“We wanted this to be convincing, and we wanted it to be a statement here at home,” Mt. Vernon coach Jeff Lonnon said. “But it just wasn’t. And I can’t explain it.”
Haley Lockhart was the only Mt. Vernon player in double figures and led all scorers with 13 points. Kelby Kujawa led the Lady Rams with seven rebounds.
The Bulldogs led briefly at the beginning of the game. Claire Ryan put the Lady Rams up with a 3-pointer with 5:45 left in the first quarter. Mt. Vernon led the rest of the game, but the Bulldogs never let the Lady Rams get comfortable.
“We’re not good enough to overlook anybody on our schedule,” Lonnon said. “That’s just the bottom line, and this St. Anthony team came in here and almost proved it tonight.”
St. Anthony hurt the Lady Rams, racking up several offensive rebounds. Mt. Vernon in turn hurt itself from the free throw line. The Lady Rams hit 12 of their 22 attempts.
“They were more aggressive than us, and they came in and wanted the ball more,” Lonnon said. “That’s all there is to it. It was just about want to. Rebounding is about who wants to do it, and tonight they wanted to do it a little bit more than we did at times.”
Mt. Vernon’s best moments came early in the third quarter after taking a 19-16 lead into halftime. Courtney Scarbrough canned a 3-pointer to start the second half to put the Lady Rams up 22-16. Kujawa snatched an offensive and converted it into a score to make the score 24-16.
The Bulldogs battled back and sliced the deficit to 27-23 after a layup from Megan Nuxoll. Lockhart pushed the advantage back to nine after a bucket, and the Lady Rams took a 33-24 edge into the final quarter.
The Lady Rams are 5-1 this season. Saturday’s game against Cairo was canceled. Mt. Vernon hosts Centralia on Wednesday.