By Allen Hilliard (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
The Rolla Lady Bulldogs and the Licking Lady Wildcats faced off in the Rolla Holiday Tournament Championship on Saturday.
Rolla would defend its home court in a 67-55 decision over previously unbeaten Licking.
“We had them (Licking) on our radar. There were four or five teams we could have played. Licking is a good program and we were looking forward to the challenge after getting by St Clair yesterday,” Rolla head coach Luke Floyd said.
The game began with both teams missing only four shots in the first quarter of action. Both the Lady Bulldogs and Lady Wildcats traded baskets back and forth. Karlee Holland scored 8 points in the first period for Licking while Rolla’s Ellie Rogers matched her with eight points of her own. The Lady Bulldogs had a 22-20 lead after the first quarter.
“We really just swung the ball and we were ready for anything. We were ready to shoot on the outside,” Rogers said.
Both teams once again were strong to begin the second quarter. The Lady Bulldogs were able to outscore the Lady Wildcats 17-12 in the period. Nearly all of the Bulldogs scored in the period in a team effort. Holland once again led the Lady Wildcats with her five points in the period.
The Rolla Lady Bulldogs led 39-32 in the at the half.
The Lady Bulldogs began to slow down as the Licking girls cut their deficit to one point at the four-minute mark of the third period. Rolla responded with six straight points to extend the lead back out toe 53-47 by the end of the third period.
Lexi Hadix and Holland led the Lady Wildcats with three points, while the Lady Bulldogs were led by Taniya Corley with her five points in the period.
“We started by making passes and with help side defense,” Rebecca Janke said about Rolla’s 6-0 run.
Rolla would keep the defensive intensity up in the fourth quarter by outscoring the Lady Wildcats 14-8 to finish off a 67-55 win.
“It was really competitive. It great for up to play teams that will help of grow. We rebounded well and this will help us the rest of the year,” Holland said.
“Rolla is big fast and has depth. They will be a major player in the Ozark Conference race,” Licking coach Steve Rissler said.
The Lady Bulldogs next game will be against Steelville at the Fatima Tournament on January 7th while the Lady Wildcats will travel to Willow Springs on January 3rd.
LHS 20 32 47 55
RHS 22 39 53 67
Janke 12, Rogers 12, Pritchett 11, Campbell 10, Corley 10, Libhart 10, Gaines 2
Holland 19, Taylor 9, Sullins 7, Mancrief 7, Ingram 5, Hadix 5, Hood 2