Lady Eagles rally late to beat Lady Hornets



Springfield, Mo. (For OzarksSportsZone.com)  -- A tremendous offensive push in the fourth quarter won it for the Fair Grove Lady Eagles as they faced off against the Hornets at Hillcrest on Monday night.

Hillcrest controlled the lead for the majority of the game, but gave it away in the last six minutes by turning the ball over to Taylor Davis on three bad passes.

“I’ve always kind of joked with Davis, she prefers to play offense and I always say, hey, who ever thought I’d say you played great defense… but she’s become a big defensive stopper for us” said Fair Grove head coach Jenny Talbert.

The two teams matched up earlier in the season at the Pink and White Tournament where Fair Grove managed to pull out another close victory. 

“I told the girls to be ready for [Hillcrest’s] best effort.  We knew that if we could keep Cleeton and Fisher in check, we could get the job done,” said Talbert.

Despite the warning, Cleeton and Fisher were major players in tonight’s game, not only as the leading scorers, but also as important play makers. 
Fisher was an organizing force for the Hornets, especially in the first quarter when she connected on several passes to Kelbi Painter to establish an early lead.

Meanwhile, Cleeton effectively distributed the ball around the key. Her major scoring moment came in the third quarter when she lit up the scoreboard with two consecutive three-pointers.

Though Fair Grove briefly held a slight advantage at the half, Hillcrest seemed to gain control of the game in the third and had established an eight point lead by the end of the quarter. That all changed in the fourth quarter.

“I told them to play the first two minutes and then the next two minutes because you’re not going to get all the points on one possession,” said Talbert.

Sure enough, the Eagles started to creep up on the Hornet’s lead early in the fourth with Morgan Kensinger and DeAmbra Pilkinton picking up a few field goals each. Pilkinton also sunk five points in free throws during the fourth quarter.

The game changer, though, came in the form of Davis intercepting three Hillcrest passes and converting the turnovers into six points worth of layups: two scored by her, and the third of of an assist to Pilkinton.

“[We had] a good game plan, and I felt like we executed it well for three quarters, but  the fourth quarter is where we did not execute our game plan,” said Hillcrest head coach Jeni Hopkins. “I don’t feel like we played a bad game. I feel like we played solid until that last six minutes, and the credit really goes to them and not against us, but just for them.”

Fair Grove stands at 14-5 for the season and plays at Lebanon next on Jan. 28 at 4:30.  Hillcrest is at 8-8 and will be at Home against Rolla on Jan. 24 at 5:30.  

Fair Grove 66, Hillcrest 58

Fair Grove 11-16-11-28—66
Hillcrest    17-8-21-12—58

Fair Grove—Morgan Kensinger 18, DeAmbra Pilkinton 17, Taylor Davis 12, Shelby Morrow 8, Bailey Weaver 6, Kalie Wood 4, Shania Hawley 1.
 
Hillcrest—Kelsie Cleeton 17, Brittany Fisher 17, Kelbi Painter 16, Kristen Todd 4, Kaycee Gerald 3, Alexis Cheek 1.

Photo Galleries

Pictures: Missouri State opens football camp


The Missouri State Bears took to the brand new Plaster Sports Complex turf Thursday afternoon to open fall practice.

Pictures: Best of 2013-14 Walnut Grove Tigers


Catch the top photos from the 2013-14 Straff

Pictures: Best of 2013-14 Strafford Indians


Catch the top photos from the 2013-14 Strafford Indians.
Videos
O-Zone Opinion
Mohawk Chronicles: Oklahoma the right choice for Dorial Green-Beckham
Dorial Green-Beckham is now an Oklahoma Sooner. If you're scratching your head right now, you're not alone. Yes, DGB will have to sit out the entire 2014 season, something that he wouldn't have had to do had he transferred to a FCS or D-2, but is...
Read More
Mohawk Chronicles: Ozark Conference 7v7 Football recap
For the third summer in a row Kickapoo hosted the Ozark Conference 7v7 Tournament. Here is a recap from the 3rd annual event. The Champs are here For the first time in the 3-year history of the Ozark Conference 7-on-7 Tournament someone...
Read More
The future is now for local soccer
We’re graduating a great crop of senior soccer players this spring. Anywhere from 15-25 will not only contend for all-state honors once the season is over, but also keep playing in college next school year. So, who replaces some of those top...
Read More
Most Viewed