Through three quarters of their Class 1 state semifinals game against Stanberry, the Community R-VI Lady Trojans’ offense scored just nine points in each frame.
Though they trailed by just one point entering the fourth quarter, they were unable to overcome their offensive struggles that showed them making just 12-of-47 shots (25.5 percent) and only 2-of-15 shots from behind the three-point arc. Stanberry hit their free throws down the stretch to seal the 47-40 victory.
The Lady Trojans will now play previously undefeated Lakeland (30-1) in the third place game at 12:50 p.m. on Saturday, March 9 inside JQH Arena.
“For me, I thought it was a defensive struggle,” said Community R-VI head coach Bob Curtis. “In the first half, I thought both teams, and we talked about this when we were scouting them, vastly similar in style…They like to diamond press, and we do as well. First half, it was hard to get anything…From the perimeter, we kind of struggled. And it’s not typical from us. Usually, from the arc, we shoot the ball pretty well.”
Three different Lady Trojans, who were available for interviews in the Media Room after the loss, said their team just needs to be ready for Saturday.
“Really, just wipe it off our chests,” said Deann Brooks. “..Aand come tomorrow with better attitudes and come to play, really.”
“Get it off our minds and wake up refreshed,” noted Dalaney Bowers.
“I think we just need to go get a good sleep tonight and come tomorrow and try to shoot the ball better,” said Brianna Beamer.
Early on in the game, the Lady Trojans ‘ defense forced Stanberry to miss around a dozen shots. Two three-pointers helped the Lady Bulldogs stay in the game.
Meanwhile, Bowers scored five points in the first quarter as Community R-VI was up 9-8 at the end of the first quarter.
The Lady Trojans managed to get to the free throw line in the second quarter and converted 5-of-6 attempts. Just before halftime, Natalie Thomas was whistled for her third foul, but her squad was still up 18-15 at the break.
In the third quarter, it was clear Stanberry’was going to pound the ball inside to their star player, Madilyn Sager. Sager scored her team’s first seven points of the third.
“For me, they went to their best player and made her touch it every possession,” Curtis said of Sager, who finished the game with 20 points. “She’s a special player in the post.”
The Lady Trojans were, at the time, able to counter Stanberry’s limited offensive push with five different players scoring. Unfortunately, Stanberry did just enough damage in the post to take a one-point lead, heading into the final eight minutes.
Community R-VI then made just 4-of-14 shots from the field in the fourth. As the Lady Trojans were forced to foul late, Stanberry was able to hold on for a 47-40 victory.
Dalaney Bowers ended the game with 11 points, five rebounds, and one blocked shot while Sadie Hoyt had five points, six rebounds, and one block.
Beamer added six points, four rebounds, and one assist; Brooks scored five points and two rebounds; Taren Clark had one point, two rebounds, and one assist; while Lauryn Robnett, Emma Angel, Emma Hombs, Delanie Windmann, ad Alexis Welch each had one rebound.
Natalie Thomas was surprisingly 0-for-11 from the field and she missed all five of her three-pointers. She did finish with three points, eight rebounds, and three assists.