South Callaway girls basketball loses to Vienna in season opener

South Callaway's Reagan Arrowood shoots a 3-pointer against Vienna Friday at South Callaway High School. Arrowood, who made all-district and all-conference last season, scored 10 points. (Robby Campbell/Fulton Sun)

MOKANE -- The South Callaway Lady Bulldogs went 14-22 from the free-throw line and took the lead once in the middle of the first quarter, but they didn't do enough to start the season with a win.

"We knew that with the new fouls (rules), two free throws instead of only one, so we had to make sure we could shoot free throws and take advantage of it. That was the bright spot," South Callaway girls basketball coach Daniel Burns said.

Playing the Vienna Eagles for the first time since at least 2005, South Callaway fell 75-41 Friday at South Callaway High School.

Vienna's offense proved challenging for South Callaway to stop, as the Eagles had four players, twice as many as SC, reach double figures: Aubrey Schwartze scored a game-high 22 points, Ella Hollis 16, Jaedyn Schell 13 and Brook Mercer 10.

"They had a good combination of a good aggressive post who could handle the ball a little bit and finish around the rim who was aggressive, and then their freshman (Hollis) did a good job," Burns said. "That's a good combination; it's just tough for us. We just made too many mistakes."

Meanwhile, two of the Lady Bulldogs' three upperclassmen reached double figures: McKenze Laughlin tallied a team-high 15 points -- eight in the third quarter -- and Reagan Arrowood, who fouled out late in the fourth, had 10.

"I was happy to see those juniors be more aggressive because they're juniors now," Burns said. "They're taking that leadership role; we don't have any seniors. We're relying on them to help us generate more offense, not only with being aggressive and taking shots. I saw a lot more of that in the second half. So we're taking steps in the right direction. We're still young."

Early in the contest, the teams traded buckets, with four lead changes and four ties in the first quarter.

Madison Weeks opened the scoring, making a putback to put Vienna in front 2-0. On South Callaway's ensuing possession, Jacquelynn Boese responded with a layup to tie it at 2.

Following a fruitless drive for each team, Mercer stole the ball and was fouled while running down the court in transition. Mercer made the first of two free throws to give Vienna a 3-2 lead.

South Callaway turned the ball over on its next three drives before No. 3 Arrowood knocked down a 3 from the top left of the arc to tie it at 5. Laughlin assisted Arrowood's trey.

Mercer answered right after that, scoring a layup to bring the Eagles back on top 7-5.

Keeping up the back-and-forth play, Laughlin, who went 7-8 from the charity stripe, converted her first two to knot it up at 7.

For the first of four times in the game, South Callaway scored in two straight possessions, which led to it taking its only advantage.

Kelsey Wetherell gave the Lady Bulldogs their only lead, hitting a floater inside to make it 9-7 South Callaway.

Schell evened it at 9, going up for a layup two Vienna possessions later. Then, the Eagles dominated the remainder of the quarter.

Hollis pickpocketed the Lady Bulldogs before Schwartze made a putback to hand Vienna the lead for good at 11-9. From there, the Eagles outscored South Callaway 13-6 to end the first quarter ahead 24-15.

Vienna committed half of its six travels in the first quarter, but South Callaway turned it over after two of the Eagles' travels and gave up a defensive rebound on one.

On Vienna's first offensive drive of the second quarter, it went up by double digits at 26-15 after Hollis stole a South Callaway throw-in and scored a layup in transition.

The Eagles stayed on top by double digits the rest of the way, and they went on a 19-0 run to start the second quarter and led 43-15, which ended up killing the Lady Bulldogs' chance at coming back.

What led Vienna to go on that run and why it won the game handily was forcing six turnovers in the second quarter. South Callaway turned the ball over 20 times in total.

Vienna (1-0) outscored South Callaway 27-21 in the second half, showing how much that second quarter hurt the Lady Bulldogs.

South Callaway (0-1) will look to get back on track when it faces Calvary Lutheran (0-0) at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in Jefferson City. Last season, the Lady Bulldogs achieved their only win against the Lions, beating them 45-41 on Jan. 31 in Jefferson City.

"We'll continue to work on the little things, taking care of the ball and limiting our turnovers," Burns said. "It's a lot of little things we've got to clean up. So that's what we're working on."