Valiant effort falls short for Comets in home-opener

Thursday, November 7, 2019
Cottey frosh point guard Olivia Pruitt scores over two William Woods defenders, while earning a trip to the charity stripe.
Photo by Matt Resnick | Daily Mail

The Cottey Comets came up on the losing end of a hard-fought battle Wednesday evening in their home-opener, falling to Williams Woods University, 57-42.

Led by the play of lightning-quick point guard Kaycee Gerald, Williams Woods raced out to a 7-0 first quarter advantage, and led 18-8 at the conclusion of the opening frame.

Both offenses grinded to a halt, as a pair of Taylor Coonce free throws at the 5:35 mark accounted for the first points of the second quarter.

Freshman point guard Olivia Pruitt's driving lay-in with 1:47 remaining in the half, trimmed the Comets' deficit to 21-14.

Coonce, a freshman forward out of Rich Hill, dropped in a breakaway lay-in just before the halftime buzzer sounded, as Cottey trailed, 22-16 at the break.

"We did a good job of (closing out) on shots, and making sure we crashed the glass to avoid (giving them) second-chance opportunities," said Cottey head coach, Stephanie Beason, of the low-scoring second stanza. "At the same time, as the season continues, I expect our group to settle in to the game ó and become more comfortable and confident, so we can take advantage of those scenarios on the offensive end."

William Woods emerged from intermission red-hot, as a flurry of buckets, punctuated by Gerald's coast-to-coast lay-in, handed the visitors a 15-point cushion.

Late in the third, back-to-back close-range jumpers from Peyton Greenlee and and Ashleigh Frampton capped an extended 18-5 run, as William Woods' lead swelled to 40-21.

Cottey (1-3) didn't go quietly in the fourth, as Kacey Acton's slashing lay-in cut the deficit to 13, at 41-28.

The inside-out combo of Gerald and Greenlee proved too much for Cottey down the stretch, as William Woods put the finishing touches on their 15-point victory.

Pruitt paced the Comets with a team-high 12 points. Additionally for Cottey, Acton chipped in nine; Coonce, eight; and Cassie Ogden ó six. In addition, Cottey connected on 11-of-13 from the charity stripe.

Greenlee, meanwhile, tallied a game-high 16 points, while Gerald finished with 11.

Beason said she was pleased with the way her club battled against a veteran-laden William Woods squad.

"We are a very young group compared to our opponents," Beason noted. "Our freshmen are playing a lot of minutes for us, and against opponents who play mainly upperclassmen. Half of our group are freshmen, so itís going to take us a bit to make adjustments, and get use to the pace and style of play at the NAIA-level. However, Iím pleased with the effort so far this season. We just need to stay focused on the end-goal, and not let some of these early games rattle us."

Cottey guard Latasha Griggs drives hard to the basket Wednesday night.
Photo by Matt Resnick |Daily Mail

Beason added that she was thrilled with the play of senior Latasha Griggs, who pulled down 10 rebounds.

"Tasha has been a major spark for us," Beason said. "We have called upon her to defend the other (team's) leading scorer, and she has done a great job so far this season. Iím looking forward to watching her improve, as she steps into a much different role than she has played in past seasons."

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: