Community R-VI girls basketball coach Bob Curtis was hoping his team could avenge a 2016 defeat to Cairo in the rematch of last year’s Madison Tournament Championship game on Saturday.
Unfortunately, it was difficult to prepare for one of the biggest foul-ridden games his program has ever been a part of.
In a nearly three hour long finals featuring 52 total fouls and 65 free throw shots, the Lady Trojans lost 53-35 to take home the second place trophy.
There were 19 first-half fouls and 44 total free throws shot in the first half alone of a game that saw four Lady Trojans foul out.
In the final 16 minutes of play, Cairo won the free throw attempt margin, 18-5.
Unfortunately, the Lady Trojans, who were called for 31 fouls in the loss, made just 12-of-25 free throws while Cairo made just 22-of-40 from the line.
“It turned into a free-throw contest, which does not favor our style as that provides too many stops in play and we would prefer to wear teams down with our frantic pace of play,” Bob Curtis said. “This allowed for long breaks for Cairo that only goes about six kids deep in a close game.”
After scoring their first two points from the free throw line to take a 2-0 lead, Cairo made two big 3-pointers to go up 11-4 at the end of the first quarter.
Foul trouble plagued the Lady Trojans early in the second quarter as three players already had three fouls.
Cairo made 11-of-18 free throws just before halftime and led 25-19 in spite of Alissa Curtis’ eight points in the second.
The Lady Trojans opened the second half by cutting the lead to four points but never could get closer.
Deann Brooks scored five of her seven points in the game in the third quarter alone. Cairo went on to make 5-of-9 free throws down the stretch and held on for the 18-point win.
In spite of the loss in the finals, Bob Curtis was proud of how his Lady Trojans played in Madison.
“All things considered, I am proud of our young team and the solid wins over a Class 5 team full of sophomores and freshmen in Battle JV and Salisbury, who has some good wins and a solid record this season,” he said.
Alissa Curtis scored 11 points, six rebounds, four steals, and two assists in the loss.
Deann Brooks added seven points, five rebounds, and one assist; Dalaney Bowers had five points, three steals, and one assist; Sadie Hoyt had two points and one steal; Delanie Windmann had four points and two rebounds; Morgan Bryant added three points and one steal; Taren Clark had three points and two rebounds; Natalie Thomas had no points but added three rebounds, two assists, and two steals; Danie Jackson added two steals; Chelsea Hoyt had five rebounds and four steals; and Tayler Cope had one rebound.
Cairo’s star player Mackenzie Dubbert had 28 points and six rebounds in her team’s win.
In the semifinals, the Lady Trojans picked up their seventh win of the season with a 41-24 victory over Salisbury, coached by former Van-Far teacher Dane Brooks. Salisbury entered the game with a 5-3 record.
The game was a challenge due to Salisbury’s slow pace that forces teams to defend for about :30 seconds per possession.
Alissa Curtis made some big 3-pointers early in the game while the defense forced some turnovers to set the pace in the first half. She finished the game with 19 points and nine rebounds.
“Every time the Panthers tried to make a run, she would calm the storm with a bucket,” Bob Curtis said.
Bowers had eight points, three steals, one rebound, and one assist; Brooks scored four points and five steals; Thomas had three points, two assists, two rebounds, and one steal; Sadie Hoyt had three points, two rebounds, and one assist; Windmann added two points; Chelsea Hoyt had one point, seven rebounds, three assists, and one steal; Clark had two rebounds; while Jackson had three assists, two rebounds, and one block.
In the first round, the Lady Trojans took on a big Class 5 Battle JV program and overcame tight game early to cruise to a 66-41 win.
The Lady Trojans took a two-point lead into the second quarter before a 19-4 frame gave them a 32-15 lead.
Alissa Curtis led the team with 24 points, eight rebounds, two steals, and one block while Thomas added 17 points, three steals, two assists, and one rebound.
Bowers scored 10 points, three rebounds, and three steals; Chelsea Hoyt had five points, seven steals, four assists, and two rebounds; Clark had four points, two rebounds, two steals, and one assist; Sadie Hoyt added three points, three steals, two rebounds, and one assist; Brooks had two points, one assist, one rebound, and one steal; Cope had one rebound; Windmann had one rebound; Jackson added four steals and three assists; Bryant had one assist and one block; and Bethany Schmidt added two steals for the Lady Trojans.