Community R-VI head coach Bob Curtis was all smiles sporting a bright red sport coat with a Trojans logo on it during the Lady Trojans’ third place game against previously undefeated Lakeland. His players presented the special coat as a gift on Thursday.
After his squad dropped a tough semifinals game to Stanberry one night earlier, he wore the sports coat for the first time coaching a game. The result, he has a new undefeated streak as the Lady Trojans defeated Lakeland, 56-49, earning Community R-VI the third place plaque in Class 1.
The game was played at JQH Arena on the campus of Missouri State University.
“They are a resilient group,” a proud coach said after his team’s victory. “I’m excited for tonight and for what the next year holds.”
In the first quarter, one night after struggling as a team behind the perimeter, Dalaney Bowers got things going with a three-pointer to tie the game at five.
Players came off the bench to score six points for the Lady Trojans in the quarter to help them take an early 13-12 lead.
Community R-VI extended their run to 6-0 early in the second quarter to go up by six after Bowers’ second three-pointer.
With 2:12 left in the first half, Deann Brooks continued her strong first half with a bucket to open up a seven point lead.
Late in the half, Bowers added a third three-pointer. Taren Clark’s late free throws gave the Lady Trojans a 28-21 halftime lead. Bowers had 11 points in the first half while Brooks scored eight points. Community R-VI outscored Lakeland 15-9 in the second quarter.
In the third quarter, Natalie Thomas’ three-pointer extended their lead to 14. Meanwhile, Lakeland tried to claw their way back into the game, cutting it back to eight entering the fourth.
“We had an eight point lead, but it felt bigger,” Curtis noted.
Lakeland, who entered the Final Four with a 30-0 record, cut the lead to as low as six points with 1:04 left in the game. Brianna Beamer then hit two free throws with :40 seconds left. Lakeland added two late free throws, but they couldn’t get any closer as Community R-VI won the game by seven points.
In the win, Curtis noted the defensive play of Brianna Beamer, Natalie Thomas, and Taren Clark.
He was also proud of the weekend freshman Alexis Welch had in both games before suffering an injury. He also spoke highly of Sadie Hoyt’s play.
Bowers led the Lady Trojans in the win with 19 points, four rebounds, two steals, and one block while Thomas had 11 points, three assists, two rebounds, one steal, and one block.
Brooks scored eight points, eight rebounds, five steals, and three assists; Beamer had seven points, one rebound, one assist, and one steal; Clark had four points, three rebounds, two assists, and two steals; Sadie Hoyt added four points, five rebounds, and four steals; Welch had two points; and Lauryn Robnett had one point.