A tough 2-3 zone defense and full-court press led by Danica Workman, a break-out shooting night for sophomore guard Sophie Waber and really fine inside play by Jenny Jones-Kelly, Ayana Thomas, Rebecca Spinler and Halle Hindman gave the Lady Dees their first South Central Conference victory in two years, 55-48 over Chariton.
The zone defense against first team all-SCC Chariton center Avery Hall was a thing of beauty as Hall was held to just 13 points and only four field goals. Guard Leah Doran made up for Hall’s lack of offense, scoring 24 points including three, three-point shots.
But the Dees countered with Waber’s season’s best offensive game as she hit 22 including two, three-pointers.
“It was a huge victory for our program,” said Coach Katy Dykes. “We finally put together a complete game, offensively, defensively, with few turnovers and a number of steals. Our big kids rebounded well and we shot lights out on free throws.
None were bigger in the end than four free throws by sophomore Spinler and senior Workman. Spinler stopped a Chariton rally with four straight free throws to give Albia a 44-40 lead and Workman sealed the victory with the final two points of the game.
The two teams came out and traded basket-for-basket through the first quarter. Hall had three of her four field goals in the first quarter and just one in the final three quarters. Waber scored a three to put Albia on the board and added seven more. Thomas also had a bucket.
It was pretty much the same in the second quarter as a steal and basket by Workman gave Albia a 19-14 lead, Chariton tied it at 21 with free throws by Doran and Jones-Kelly scored inside to give Albia at 23-21 lead at the half.
Baskets by Thomas and Kelly started the third quarter to give Albia a 27-21 lead. A three-pointer by Doran cut the lead to 29-26, but Allison Major scored inside and then Hindman hit a three to boost the lead to 34-26.
Chariton scored six straight to cut the lead to 36-35, but Waber scored with 30 seconds to go and an Albia steal left the lead at 39-35.
Chariton closed to within two on a Doran free throw, 41-39, but a Thomas bucket and four Spinler free throws put Albia up 47-41. The Dees would protect that lead with four Waber and two Workman free throws.
The Dees had great production from every spot on the court. Waber had 19 points, 4 rebounds and six steals. Jones-Kelly had 13 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Hindman had 7 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists. Thomas had 6 points and 13 rebounds. Workman had 6 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals and Spinler had 4 pounds and 6 rebounds. Kaster had 2 rebounds, Jones had 2 assists and 2 steals and Brown had a rebound.
For the 1-3 Chargers, Doran had 24 points, Hall had 13 points and 12 rebounds and Lexi Smyser had 6 points.