Cottey lets big lead slip away in loss to Allen County

Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Greg Kepler/Daily Mail/ Above: Cottey forward Linsey Denney (25) battles for points in the post.

Nevada Daily Mail

The Cottey Comets hosted the Red Devils of Allen County Community College on Friday night at Hinkhouse Center, losing 62-56.

This was the second meeting of the year between teams, with the Comets losing 91-84 in Iola, Kan., Nov. 25.

Greg Kepler/Daily Mail/ Above: Comets guard Latasha Griggs (10) goes up for a mid-range jumper against Allen County Community College.

With the loss, Cottey drops to 6-4.

Allen County kicked off the scoring by coming away with the tip-off and instantly taking a three point lead via the hands of Haley Wilson.

Nearly two minutes passed before Cottey's Linsey Denney grabbed her own rebound and put it back in for the Comet's first two points. However, the visitors methodically built a 7-2 lead early.

Cottey adjusted and picked away at the lead, eventually tying the score at seven when Latasha Griggs made the second of two free throws with 14:45 showing. Just over a minute later, Denney slipped a pass to fellow forward Emily Allen who added two more.

Cottey got a little breathing room, building a 13-7 lead only to see a trey from Wilson close the gap to three.

The Comets then found their rhythm and scored nine unanswered points, garnering a comfortable 22-10 lead with 4:44 showing. Both teams attempted to draw the other's defense out with numerous three-point attempts, but neither had much luck getting the ball to roll their way. Cottey eventually built their lead to 32-18 and took that lead to the locker room at half time.

Second half

Allen County came out hitting on all cylinders in the second half, as the Comets watched their lead shrink quickly, in part because their shooting went cold.

Cottey could only muster six points in the first eight minutes of the half while the visitors closed the score to within five, behind three treys from Erika Essman and Wilson.

With 9:12 on the clock, Latasha Griggs drained a 3-pointer, boosting Cottey's lead to nine at 45-36. The first of two free throws from Amalia Harris extended the Comets' lead to seven but a trey from Essman 10 seconds later closed the score to 48-43.

Allen County then began chipping away at Cottey's lead with free throws and tenacious defense. A jumper by Kai Jones brought ACCC to within one with just under three minutes remaining. Another deuce from Jones with 1:43 remaining in regulation gave Allen County the lead, and they never trailed again.

Cottey fought back but missed clutch free throws and watched as the visitors drained six of eight to close out the game.

Cottey's Emily Allen led all scorers with 21 points followed by Latasha Griggs with 20. Haley Wilson scored 19 for the Red Devils including four 3-pointers.

After the Christmas break, Cottey kicks off the 2015 portion of the season with another home game, as they face Neosho County, Jan. 7 at 6 p.m.

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