Red Devil women step out of cellar

Register Sports Editor

Register/Jocelyn Sheets
Allen County Community College’s Jennifer House takes the basketball to the rim past the defense of Highland Com-munity College’s Karli Abbey (5) in the first half of Monday night’s Jayhawk Eastern Division game. Allen County defended its house with a 73-63 win over the Scotties.

Teamwork brought a big home victory for Allen County Community College’s Red Devil women. It helped the Red Devils take a step out of the Jayhawk Eastern Division cellar.
Playing on Monday night, the Red Devils shook off a “just well enough to stay in the game” performance Saturday in a loss at Johnson County Community College and posted a 75-65 win over visiting Highland Community College.
Samantha Aofia powered the Red Devils, hitting 6 of 8 three-pointers on her way to a game-high 24 points. The Red Devils had five players score in double figures Monday.
“This is one of the best team efforts we’ve had all season,” said Andy Hamilton, Red Devil head coach. “The first half was our best offensive performance.
“After Saturday where we played just well enough to stay in the game, I was concerned how we’d play tonight. The girls came out ready to play.”
Allen County lost 73-63 to Johnson County on Saturday. Hamilton said it was a game that he thought his team could have and should have won.
Monday’s game pitted the two Jayhawk East cellar dwellers against each other. With the victory, the Red Devils improved to 2-13 in Jayhawk East play and 5-22 overall. The Scotties’ only conference win came Jan. 24 over Allen County, 63-60. Highland is 1-14, 8-19.
The Red Devils travel to Chanute Wednesday to take on Neosho County Community College’s Lady Panthers (4-10, 9-17). They host Fort Scott Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
In a close game, once the Red Devils seized the lead they had a response to every challenge. Early in the game it was the play of post player Jennifer House and forward Sumayyah Muhammad fueling the ACCC offense.
House’s three-point play with 15:03 left in the first half put ACCC up 11-9.
Highland’s Kara Smith hit her second three-pointer of the night, and her last, to put her team back in front. Muhammad connected for Allen County, followed by a trey by Angela Hogue.
Amber Girdy broke an 18-18 tie with a trey at the 12:30 mark. Allen County trailed 22-21 when House had a putback, then Aofia drained back-to-back three-pointers.
The Scotties weren’t going away as they tied it up at 29-29 in a two-minute span. Hogue nailed a three-pointer for a Red Devil advantage.
Hogue scored at the 5:46 mark to put ACCC up 34-31, then Jill Hartman fired from the outside for three.
Amy Galey hit a trey for Highland and Aofia answered in kind for ACCC. Girdy triggered in another trey for the Red Devils for a 43-34 lead. Going into the break, Allen County stood on a 43-37 lead.
Highland opened the second half on a 7-0 run to grab a 44-43 advantage. House scored inside, then hit one of two free throws to start a 13-2 surge by Allen County.
Consecutive three-pointers by Aofia, who has gone 9 of 12 from outside the arc in the past two games, pushed Allen County’s lead to 10, 56-46.
Kierston Howerton led a Scotties’ comeback, getting to within two, 63-61 with 7:20 left. Muhammad scored for the Red Devils.
Up by three but the Scotties had the basketball, Allen County got a steal by Aofia, who went the distance for a layup.
Following a timeout with 3:41 on the clock, Girdy, who had injured her ankle with 10 minutes left, returned to the ACCC lineup. The Red Devils began working the basketball and the clock.
“We did a good job running our offense, hitting free throws down the stretch. We hit the defensive boards late,” Hamilton said.
“The girls are buying into shooting the basketball. We had 12 three-pointers to-night.”
Along with Aofia, Muhammad had 14 points and nine rebounds for ACCC. Girdy and House each had 11 points and Hogue added 10 points. Girdy had eight rebounds and House had two steals.
Allen County shot 36 percent, 27 of 75, from the field including going 12 of 28 from three-point range. The Red Devils hit 9 of 13 free throws and only had nine turnovers.
Highland shot 31 percent, 21 of 68, from the field and sank 18 of 25 free throw attempts.
Howerton led the Scotties with 22 points and Galey added 18. Tanna Prenger had 10 points.

At Johnson County Saturday, the Red Devils trailed 37-27 at halftime. Each team scored 36 points in the second half.
Aofia had 19 points and five assists, Muhammad scored 14 points, Hogue had 12 points and eight rebounds. Girdy dished out five assists.
They shot 46 percent, 26 of 56, from the field and went 3 of 6 at the line. Johnson County shot 36 percent, 23 of 64, from the field and cashed in on 16 of 18 free throw attempts.
Johnson County was led by Amanda Dittmer with 25 points and Melissa Nelson, who was 11 of 12 at the line, with 24 points. Danielle Shows chipped in 11 points.
Allen County (43-32—75) (FG/3-pt): Hartman 0/1-0-2-3, Girdy 1/3-0-3-11, Hogue 2/2-0-3-10, Nelson 1-0-1-2, Fowler 0-0-1-0, Aofia 3/6-0-2-24, Blackmore 0-0-1-0, Muhammad 4-6-4-14, House 4-3-2-11. TOTALS: 15/12-9-19-75.
Highland (37-28—65) (FG/3-pt): Smith 0/2-0-0-6, Galey 6/1-3-2-18, Abbey 4-1-3-9, Prenger 1/2-2-4-10, Howerton 5-12-4-22, Lester 0-0-1-0. TOTALS: 16/5-18-14-65.
Saturday’s game
Allen County (27-36—63) (FG/3-pt): Girdy 4-0-3-8, Hogue 3/2-0-4-12, Nelson 0-0-1-0, Aofia 5/3-0-3-19, Blackmore 1-0-2-2, Muhammad 3/2-2-2-14, House 3-1-1-7. TOTALS: 18/8-3-16-63.
Johnson County (37-36—73) (FG/3-pt): Bechard 1/2-0-0-8, Dittmer 1/7-2-0-25, Barnes 1/1-0-1-5, Morrison 0-0-1-0, Nelson 5/1-11-3-24, Shows 4-3-3-11. TOTALS: 12/11-16-8-73.