Another week in the books and down go another two state-ranked teams who lost games to the now 15-0 Community R-VI Lady Trojans basketball team.
The No. 2 ranked team in Class 1 beat the No. 5 team in Class 2 in Paris and the No. 6 team in the same class in Cairo.
Hype on social media built up before the Lady Trojans’ big game at Paris and neither team disappointed in the match-up.
“Most games of this magnitude do not live up to the hype, but this was an absolute exception,” said Community R-VI head coach Bob Curtis.
“It had everything from lead changes, to girls diving on the floor, some of the best players in central Missouri, and a buzzer beater.”
In the win, Curtis was proud of how 6’0” Lauryn Robnett played defensively against 6’5” Tori Hamilton, who averages 17 points per game. He was also proud of Taren Clark’s efforts defending Cairo guard Allison Moore.
“I could not be more proud of Lauryn’s effort against her tonight,” Curtis said. “We had a game plan coming in and Lauryn executed it perfectly. She was tough, physical, pulled down seven rebounds, and held Tori to just two field goals while she was in the game. To go along with that, Taren Clark, who is our defensive stopper, most nights was equally fantastic holding standout guard Allison Moore to just three field goals while she was assigned to her. I have said all year long, our depth is what makes this year different. We can go small if you are a athletic run and gun type team or alter our line up to go big if need be.”
In the contest, Paris held a three point halftime lead before the Lady Trojans cut the gap to just one point entering the fourth quarter.
Community R-VI was up one with 10 seconds left when the Lady Coyotes scored a go-ahead basket as the home crowd in Paris was really loud.
“It was so loud you could feel it in your chest,” Curtis said. “It felt like a state championship game.”
After the big basket, Dalaney Bowers sprinted out of bounds to catch Paris off guard as they thought the Lady Trojans might take a timeout.
Bowers heaved the ball to Clark just short of midcourt. Clark took the ball to the rim to draw in the defenders then passed it to Deann Brooks, who went in strong and got fouled and scoring the go-ahead basket with one second left in the game.
“This eruption by the crowd made the first sound like a whisper,” Curtis noted.
Brooks hit the free throw for a two point lead.
Paris attempted a Christian Laettner-like play, passing the ball three-quarters of the court to Hamilton, but the play was broken up by Brooks. Brooks soared in to snatch the ball out of the air to seal the victory.
The two teams could meet again this week in the Sturgeon Tournament.
Natalie Thomas led the Lady Trojans with 21 points and four assists. Bowers had 12 points; Brooks added five points and six rebounds; Sadie Hoyt had 10 points and five rebounds; Brianna Beamer had two points; and Clark added one point.
Earlier in the week, the Lady Trojans needed overtime for a 52-44 win over Cairo.
It took the Lady Trojans 16 minutes to wake up as they scored just two points in the second quarter.
Cairo actually had a 23-12 halftime lead when the Lady Trojans woke up in the third quarter to outscore the Lady Bearcats, 21-4.
“We did not have school on Tuesday and sometimes that can mess up your routine,” Curtis said. “I think it took us 16 minutes to realize that our execution was simply put, ‘bad.’”
Cairo won the fourth quarter to push the game into overtime tied at 41.
The Lady Trojans then took over the game in the overtime session with an 11-3 final frame for an eight point win.
“This Lady Trojans team will not quit and they are going to make you earn it night in and night out,” Curtis said.
Community R-VI has now defeated four state-ranked teams in a row.
Natalie Thomas led the team with 23 points, seven rebounds, and three assists.
Bowers added 12 points and two steals; Brooks scored eight points and six rebounds; Hoyt had four points; Beamer scored three points; and Emma Hombs had two points.