Through three quarters, the Community R-VI Lady Trojans basketball team had a difficult time getting separation from Mark Twain in the first round of the Madison Tournament.
Fortunately, a 12-5 fourth quarter helped the Lady Trojans, who were the No. 3 seed, secure a 49-37 win.
Community R-VI made 8-of-10 free throws down the stretch as Mark Twain had to foul to stop the clock and the Lady Trojans took advantage.
“Natalie, Alissa, and Dalaney all went to the line during that stretch and made big free throws,” said Community R-VI head coach Bob Curtis.
The Lady Trojans led 12-9 in the first quarter and held just a five-point edge heading into the fourth before they pulled away. Taren Clark was stellar defensively as she guarded Mackenzie Lathrom, a Lady Tiger who has already signed to play basketball in college for the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL).
Lathrom scored 19 of her 21 points in the first half before being shut down in the final two quarters.
“We knew that we had to wear her down and making everything tough for her as she is a great player,” Bob Curtis said. “We wanted to make her spend a lot of energy just to catch a ball reversal because when she is fresh she just simply does not miss much…She had just two points in the final 16 minutes as the press and chase began to take it’s toll.”
Three Lady Trojans scored in double figures.
“The balanced scoring has also been a huge factor for us as we have a lot of weapons on the offensive end that stretch a defense,” Bob Curtis noted.
Alissa Curtis tallied 14 points and nine rebounds; Dalaney Bowers had 13 points; Natalie Thomas scored 12 points and four assists; Chelsea Hoyt had four points; and two points were scored by Bethany Schmidt, Morgan Bryant, and Clark.
The victory gives the Lady Trojans a match-up against the host Lady Panthers at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, January 4 in a rematch of last season’s district finals.
A victory puts them in the finals on Saturday, January 6 at 6 p.m. A loss puts them in the third place game at 3 p.m.
Beating Marion County
Before the tournament started, the Lady Trojans traveled to Philadelphia, Mo. and left with a 74-21 win.
The Lady Trojans jumped out to a 42-16 halftime lead and never looked back in the 53-point win.
Community R-VI nailed six 3-pointers.
Their defensive press helped them get out to a 20-0 lead just five minutes into the game as all 15 players saw valuable time on the court in the win.
“Had a lot of girls make shots tonight and get some solid varsity minutes,” Bob Curtis said.
Thomas scored 24 points; Bowers had 19; Alissa Curtis and Emma Hombs scored seven points; Emma Angel had four points; Kaley Diesel and Bryant had three points; Brianna Beamer, Schmidt, and Clark each scored two points; and Delanie Windmann added one point.