Redettes stay on top in SCC

Centerville teammates Mickey Stephens (14) and Allison Casteel (4) celebrate a South Central Conference girls basketball win in front of Davis County teammates Sydney Henderson (21) and Reese Humphrey (31) at Lakeview Gymnasium in Centerville on Dec. 3.

BLOOMFIELD — Just 39 nights earlier, a matter of inches separated the Centerville and Davis County girls basketball teams.

There was much more of a difference on Tuesday in the rematch between the Redettes and the Mustangs. Centerville maintained its outright South Central Conference lead behind a 23-point effort from Mickey Stephens in a 52-31 win that was far less dramatic than the 51-50 win secured by the Redettes at Lakeview Gymnasium on Dec. 3 clinched when Reese Humphrey's baseline jumper at the buzzer hit the front of the rim.

"We played four games last week, so we were concerned about the fatigue factor," noted Centerville girls' basketball skipper Nic Belloma. "They did surprise us with a lot more man defense this time since they played mostly zone the last time."

Stephens scored seven points in the first quarter, including a trey and a drive to the hoop with just five seconds before the end of the period as the Redettes carried a 13-4 lead into the second quarter.

"We wanted to take their post player, Rachel George, out of the game," Davis County head girls basketball coach Jeff Graves said. "Other players picked up the slack and Centerville played a very aggressive 1-3-1 defense."

Davis County would regroup during the second half of play, playing the Redettes close including a back-and-forth third quarter that saw Centerville outscore the Mustangs by a single point (17-16). Ultimately, Centerville's 30-10 halftime edge would be too much for Davis County to overcome against the outright SCC leaders.

Stephens hit a 3-pointer in each period as part of her 23-point effort, adding four steals on defense. George would secure a double-double against Davis County with 10 points and 13 rebounds while matching Allison Casteel with three steals apiece.

Macy Hill led Davis County with nine points. Jalee Lough added seven for the Mustangs.

Next up for Davis County (8-5, 3-4 SCC) is a non-conference contest with Putnam County (MO) on Thursday in Bloomfield. Centerville (11-2, 6-1 SCC) will continue their pursuit of a second straight conference title next Tuesday at Albia, maintaining a one-game edge over Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont with the two teams still in line to face off in Eddyville to wrap up conference play on Feb. 1.

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