“I give a lot of credit to them, their coaching staff and their players.” said Southwest head coach Brad Phillips. “I thought they came out and got after us. I think they were ready to play.”
Galena’s best asset was its resilience. Every time Southwest threatened to throw a knockout blow, the Lady Bears would answer to keep momentum from firmly swinging to the Lady Trojans. Through the first three quarters, the biggest run Southwest could muster was a 7-0 spurt in the first quarter that gave them their first lead at 13-8.
“They shot the ball well. Every time we came down and hit some shots they’d come right back and retaliate,” said Phillips.
Southwest would lead by three after the first period and only four at the half. But after halftime, they finally opened some breathing room courtesy of the long ball. Mitchell would open the second-half by hitting consecutive 3-pointers, freshman guard Jaime Shrum would follow with two of her own, and Southwest would lead by nine going into the final period.
Helping Galena stay with Southwest was center Haley Inman who put up a double-double of her own, scoring 12 points and grabbing 16 rebounds to help the Lady Bears outduel their much taller opponents 36-35 on the boards.
Finally Southwest would break the game open in the final quarter as a 9-0 run would push the lead to 15. Galena would not give up; reducing the deficit back to seven, but Southwest would hit four of six free throws down the stretch for the final margin.
Sophomore point guard Coley Ickes would score 11 to add to Southwest’s balanced scoring attack. While junior guard Kenna Greenway would also hit double figures for Galena with 11 points.
“From day one this summer, they’ve come to work. I’m very proud of the kids,” said Phillips.
Both teams will finish the regular season Thursday with Southwest travelling to Verona and Galena hosting Blue Eye.
Galena: 12 12 9 14 – 47
Southwest: 15 13 14 16 – 58
Galena: Kristin Hufferd 3, Ashley Stults 8, Haley Inman 12, Kenna Greenway 11, Alicia Sullivan 6, Dallas Howard 7
Southwest: Coley Ickes 10, Jaime Shrum 9, Montana Hendrix 5, Michaela Mitchell 9, Shannon Mitchell 15, Taylor Mettlach 9