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Defense lifts Logan girls over Melrose

Posted Date: 02/07/2024

Defense lifts Logan girls over Melrose

- Strong defense carried the Lady Longhorns past foul trouble and a shooting slump in the second quarter to a 45-35 district victory Thursday over arch-rival Melrose.

Camryn Cantrell scored five of her 11 points in the fourth quarter to expand Logan's lead to double digits. Hailee Robertson and Lizzy Horner also scored 11 points to lead the Lady Longhorns' balanced attack.

They avenged a 44-43 loss to the Lady Buffaloes on Jan. 13 in the EPAC tournament final.

Logan, ranked sixth in Class 1A by going into the game, improved to 14-7 and 1-1 in district play.

Melrose, ranked third in 1A, fell to 16-3, 1-1. Kinlee Bradley led the Lady Buffs with 14 points, and Graci Odom added 11.

Melrose coach Kevin Lackey, lamenting the loss, compared his team's previous clash with Logan at EPAC.

"We didn't execute our game plan," he said. "It was a game of made shots, and we didn't make enough of them. It was basically the same game as EPAC; Logan was up by 12 there. The difference was they were able to seal the deal tonight, and we couldn't put it together."

Logan started fast, taking a 13-6 lead late in the first period.

But the Lady Longhorns couldn't hit the broad side of a barn in the second quarter. They scored just one field goal, and the Lady Buffs tied it 15-15 by halftime. Logan also had to sit two starters for an extended period due to fouls.

Despite the poor quarter, Logan coach Dustin Robertson said he was encouraged.

"I told them we hadn't shot that bad all year, but our defense was what we'd been working towards - tough, intense. It started and ended on defense for us," he said.

Robertson said his team sought to control Melrose seniors Odom and Karlee Elliott.

"It's easier said than done," he said. "You can't really stop Odom, but I thought Hailee did a good job on her. I put Camryn on Elliott, and she did an excellent job. Marilyn (Moreno) was put on Elliott a few times, and she did great. We rebounded great, too."

Elliott scored four points and didn't tally a field goal.

Melrose also hurt its cause by going just 11-for-22 from the free throw line. Logan went 7-for-9.

Logan trailed by two late in the third quarter when Desta Rose made a traditional three-point play on a driving move into the paint. That, followed by a 3-point shot by Robertson, gave the Lady Longhorns the lead for good.

"Once they got up four or five points, they really spread us out, and they're faster than us on the perimeter," Lackey said. "They made it hard on us to stay in front of them."

Logan added a 12-4 run in the fourth quarter to surge to a 42-30 lead with about three minutes left.

"Everybody was playing hard and going their job," coach Robertson said.