Lady Eagles snap losing streak in 2023 opener

By Will Johnson, Sports Editor
Posted 1/11/23

One thing was certain to happen at Allen Gymnasium last Wednesday night.

Either Vienna’s Lady Eagles or Tuscumbia’s Lady Lions would snap a three-game losing streak to open the 2023 …

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Lady Eagles snap losing streak in 2023 opener

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One thing was certain to happen at Allen Gymnasium last Wednesday night.

Either Vienna’s Lady Eagles or Tuscumbia’s Lady Lions would snap a three-game losing streak to open the 2023 portion of their respective seasons.

Down 39-34 with 4:45 remaining, Kevin Schwartze’s Lady Eagles rattled off a 10-1 run capped by a pair of Jaedyn Schell free throws giving Vienna a 45-42 come-from-behind victory over Tuscumbia.

“I’m really proud of how my girls battled back in the fourth quarter after losing the lead in the third quarter,” Schwartze said.

Trailing 4-2 at the 6:25 mark of the first quarter, a Schell bucket started a string of 10 unanswered points for Vienna helping them to a 14-6 lead after eight minutes of basketball from Maries County.

Freshman Aubrey Schwartze led the Lady Eagles with eight first-quarter points in addition to two each from Brooke Mercer, Marissa Hollis and Schell.

Trading points with Tuscumbia throughout the second quarter, Vienna went into halftime with a 27-18 lead.

Schwartze led the Lady Eagles with 12 first-half points followed by Schell with six, Mercer with five and Hollis with four.

Third-quarter action saw Vienna cool off on the offensive end while the Lady Lions shot their way back into the game from beyond the 3-point arc.

Two 3-pointers from Lelia Wright and another 3-ball from Addison Rogers helped Tuscumbia tie the game at 29-29 with 1:40 for the third quarter.

Another 3-pointer from Rogers with :54 for the quarter helped the Lady Lions enter the fourth quarter with a 34-32 lead on the road.

Trailing 39-34 with 5:07 remaining, Mercer put the Lady Eagles on her back over the next three minutes.

Hitting three consecutive shots over a span of 2:23, Mercer’s third successful shot gave the Lady Eagles a 40-39 lead with 2:12 remaining.

Madison Weeks and Mercer both hit free throws pushing the Vienna lead to 42-39 with 1:30 remaining before Schell’s aforementioned free throws put the finishing touches on a Lady Eagle victory to open 2023.

“I challenged the girls during practice to step up their defensive intensity and it showed when we held Tuscumbia to three points during the final 5:07 of the game,” Schwartze said.

Schwartze led the Lady Eagles with a double double of 15 points and 15 rebounds to go along with four steals and a blocked shot.

Mercer also reached double digits scoring eight of her 13 points in the fourth quarter. She also added five rebounds, four steals and two assists to her point total.

Schell nearly made it a trio of Vienna double-digit scorers finishing with nine points, three rebounds, a steal and a blocked shot.

Hollis added six points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists while Weeks rounded out the scoring with a fourth-quarter free throw for Vienna.

Rogers led Tuscumbia with a dobule double of 21 points and 14 rebounds.

Maddie Blankenship also grabbed 10 rebounds for the Lady Lions.

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