Win a district title? Check
Break the school record for win totals? Check
Get revenge on No. 1 state-ranked and undefeated Mercer in the Class 1 State Sectionals? Check
Get to the Final Four? Almost…
The Community R-VI Lady Trojans basketball team’s best ever season came to an end Saturday night after a late rally fell short in a Class 1 State Quarterfinals loss to Glasgow, 55-47.
If the Lady Trojans had defeated the Lady Yellow Jackets, it would have been the first time a Community R-VI girls basketball team had advanced to the Final Four.
“I’m proud of the kids,” said Community R-VI head coach Bob Curtis. “It was great to see us make it to the quarterfinals, and to lose like that, it’s going to hurt for a while. Nevertheless, I’m proud of the girls and proud of the seniors.”
The loss meant it was the final game for seniors Samm Jett, Danielle Brooks, Rebecca Hagan, and Mikyla Wagner.
“I can’t say enough about my seniors,” Bob Curtis added. “…My four seniors set the bar extremely high for teams to come with their leadership and will to win.”
Foul trouble plagued the Lady Trojans after several questionable 50/50 calls throughout their state quarterfinals game against Glasgow and their dominant post player Jaden Monnig.
Glasgow opened the game on a 6-0 run as they successfully dumped the ball inside the paint to Monnig for two early baskets.
The Lady Yellow Jackets pushed their lead to seven though Brooks scored four points while also picking up two early fouls.
Glasgow led 16-10 at the end of the first quarter before pushing their lead to nine on an early 3-pointer in the second quarter.
The Lady Trojans responded with a 6-0 run as Chelsea Hoyt scored on back-to-back trips down court and Danie Jackson hit an open jumper to cut the lead to three points.
Glasgow went back inside to Monnig for seven points in the quarter and pushed their lead back to nine at halftime.
Monnig scored 16 of her team-high 28 points in the first half.
“She is the most athletic 6’2 girl we have faced this year as she really jumps well and receives lob passes so well with soft hands,” Bob Curtis said. “We did not have an answer for her as she was our focus on defense to help double her and limit her touches and she still had 28 points in the contest. We threw man, zone, and junk defense at her and she continued to catch over the top of us.”
The Lady Yellow Jackets made 11-of-19 shots from the field in the half and turned the ball over eight times while the Lady Trojans made just 7-of-27 shots from the field with one turnover.
Glasgow began pulling away in the third quarter after two 3-pointers. Monnig scored six more points to help get the lead to as high as 16 points.
During the quarter, Jett picked up her third foul and both offenses struggled as they combined to make just 5-of-17 shots from the field.
A referee’s whistle blew out of nowhere just :12 seconds into the fourth quarter as a surprise fourth foul was called on Alissa Curtis.
The lead stayed at 15 points when Community R-VI fans were reminded why the team’s warm-ups say “R-6 Never Stops” on the back of them.
Alissa Curtis’ 3-pointer cut the lead to 12 with 5:07 left.
The Lady Trojans then dominated the next two minutes with full-court pressure defense.
Two straight steals followed with Brooks’ 3-point play and Hoyt’s two free throws cut the lead to 42-37. During that stretch, Alissa Curtis fouled out of the game.
Jackson then hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 44-42 with 2:54 left in the game.
Monnig answered with a big 3-point play.
Jett followed a little later with a 3-pointer to cut a lead back to four with 55.3 seconds remaining.
Twenty-three seconds later, Hoyt fouled out of the game.
After both Wagner and Jett missed shots, Brooks became the third Lady Trojan to foul out of the game as Glasgow held on for the eight point win.
Brooks scored a team-high 16 points, four steals, four rebounds, and three assists in the loss. Jackson added nine points, three steals, and two rebounds; Alissa Curtis had eight points, one steal, one assists, and one block; Jett had seven points, four rebounds, four assists, one block, and one steal; and Hoyt tallied seven points, four rebounds, three steals, and three assists.
Monnig led Glasgow with 28 points, 12 rebounds, four blocks, and one assist.
State Sectionals win
One year earlier, Mercer ended the Lady Trojans’ season with a 15-point victory in the Class 1 State Sectionals.
In that game, the Lady Trojans were down 16 at halftime though they did score one more point than Mercer in the final two quarters.
It appeared early on March 1 that Mercer was going to get another win this season at the game played in Kirksville.
Mercer jumped out to a 14-4 first quarter lead and extended their lead to 21 points just 10 minutes into the game.
Community R-VI picked up their defensive pressure and managed to outscore Mercer 20-16 in the second quarter to cut the lead to six at halftime. Hagan made two big 3-pointers during the comeback.
“The girls would not quit; it was the most memorable comeback I have seen in my 15 year career as a head coach,” Bob Curtis said. “They just refused to lose…I told the girls all week we just have to be better than them one night for 32 minutes.”
Hoyt led the defensive charge as she finished with nine steals in the game while defending Mercer’s best point guard.
“Chelsea Hoyt had nine steals in the best defensive effort I have seen all year against one of if not the best point guard in the state,” Bob Curtis noted. “She was everywhere picking passes off in our press. Chelsea’s speed and defensive effort against a great player like (Nicole) Kost was fun to watch. She held her to six points and she averages 20 a game on the year.”
After winning the third quarter 11-7, Jett hit two big 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to help seal the victory.
Defensively, she held Mercer’s all-state player Bailey Owens to just one second-half field goal.
“This was a rematch from a year ago that the girls were hungry for and I am so proud of all of them for the season that they have had,” Bob Curtis said.
Jet scored a team-high 14 points, four rebounds, and one assist in the win.
Alissa Curtis added a double-double of 13 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, and three blocks; Brooks scored 11 points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals; Hagan had six points, two rebounds, and one steal; Hoyt added two points, nine steals, five rebounds, and four assists; and Jackson had two points, five rebounds, and one block.
Bob Curtis said he was really thankful for support his team received in the state playoffs and all season long as his Lady Trojans finished the year with 23 wins, a third straight district title, and a sectionals win over the top team in the state.
“We really appreciate all the Lady Trojan fans that came out to support us on Saturday as they helped energize the comeback with their emotion and heart in the stands,” he added. “The name of our school is Community but I feel like it should be family as that is what it has felt like to me over the last 11 seasons. The school spirit is so high and the anticipation for what is to come in the future is on everyone’s minds. It is a great school to work for and coach in as we have great kids, parents, and community support.”