“I thought we started off flat and missed some easy shots in both the start of the game and the start of the third quarter,” said West Plains coach Scott Womack. “Our second quarter defense was really good and we limited them to one basket. I thought our defense was the key.”
Both teams had difficulty scoring in the first quarter. West Plains had a five-point lead, but Branson’s Sydney Shepherd hit a 3-pointer at the five minute mark. Then Hadley Blake tied the score at 5.
The Lady Zizzers’ Hannah Riggs made one free throw to put her team up by one. The Lady Pirates’ Moriah Dapprich score twice to end the quarter ahead 10-6.
In the second quarter, West Plains only allowed the Lady Pirates to score four points. The Lady Zizzers’ Kelli Bowen came off the bench strong, scoring nine points in a row (her only points of the game) and giving them a 15-12 lead.
“We didn’t play our best tonight, but we found a way to win and that is what is important,” said Womack. “They have a nice ball club and we are just happy to get out of here with a win.”
West Plains continued to increase it’s lead all the way to a fourteen point difference at one point during the third quarter. BreAnna Harris made six of her eight points in the third quarter.
Branson’s Dapprich contributed 10 of the 15 points the Lady Pirates added in the third quarter, but Branson was able to cut the lead to seven by the end of the quarter making the score 36-29.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well from the outside,” said Bough. “I think we had three or four air balls, where as last week against Blue Eye we hit 6 threes in the third quarter. We are good shooters and shooting those air balls got to our kids’ a little bit.”
Dapprich hit a shot from the charity strip at the beginning of the fourth quarter. But West Plains Haney drove to the basket and scored. Then Cassidy Johnson stole the ball and made an easy layup to make a 10 point ballgame.
Branson would cut the lead to eight, but the Lady Zizzers would score on the next possession, keeping the game from the Lady Pirates grasps.
West Plains 50, Branson 40
West Plains 6, 17, 13, 14
Branson 10, 4, 15, 11
West Plains top scorers—Andi Haney 21, Kelli Bowen 9, Cassidy Johnson 9, BreAnna Harris 8
Branson top scorers—Moriah Dapprich 22, Ashley Forrest 5, Jessie Barton 4, Hadley Blake 4