Willard, Mo. (For OzarksSportsZone.com) -- After the Lebanon Lady Yellowjackets came within a point of the Willard Lady Tigers early in the second period, Willard pulled its offense together and never looked back, winning 69-42.
Lebanon opened the second period with a deficit of 17-9, but they looked determined to bounce back. Ashton Light, Rachael Morris, Renee Hudson, and Mikalyn Callahan combined for a total of 8 points in the first three minutes of the second quarter, closing the gap to 19-18.
After the Lady Tigers' Amber Percival made two free throws, the Lady Tigers found their momentum from the bench. Chelsea Yates broke away from some back-and-forth possessions midcourt for a layup. Yates followed up with a putback on the Lady Tigers' next trip to the net.
The Lady Tigers opened the second half ahead 26-21, a lead that widened thanks to Ali Perry posting two goals, followed by Mallory Kurtz and Makenzie Parker each scoring in the first two minutes of the third quarter.
The Lady Tigers had found their tempo, scoring nearly every time they traveled down the court. Parker posted 7 of her 16 points in the fourth quarter, followed by Mariah Stewart with 6 points in the fourth.
Parker led the Lady Tigers with 16 points on the night.
"We played together offensively and defensively, and had a really good defensive night. We executed really well, and it was a really successful night. It was absolutely fun," said Parker.
The Lady Tigers coach Mike Percival was impressed with his team's defensive effort.
"We were much more pleased with our second half. We did a lot of things that were more aggressive. Our defense, there were two or three possessions where we felt like we were as good as we could get. Overall, we're really pleased with the effort tonight," said Percival.
Willard travels to Glendale on January 14. Lebanon faces Ava at home on January 14.
Willard 17 9 18 25 -- 69
Lebanon 9 12 11 10 -- 42
Willard: Makenzie Parker 16, Ali Perry 14, Mariah Stewart 11, Amber Percival 10, Mallory Kurtz 8, Caitlyn Carpenter 4, Chelsea Yates 4, Shelby Barrett 2
For all three area teams advancing to the Class 3 Final 4 this season has been about unfinished business. Last March I watched the Strafford boys and Ash Grove girls in their quarterfinal at Drury get pushed around by Fatima and St. James, respectively....
Today I was planning on telling you about how much I enjoy watching this year's Wichita State team, but why they don't deserve a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
But, Saturday happened.
Mar. 8, 2014 may have been the most spectacular day of...
It's March, which means it is time for madness. Last week we saw small-schools wrap up district play and there was no shortage of upsets, big-time performances, and history being made. Expect the same this week with the big schools. Here is my breakdown...