Call it a defensive struggle, or ugly basketball, but the Strafford Lady Indians will simply take it as a Mid-Lakes Conference road victory against a defending state semifinalist.
Strafford survived a scoring drought that lasted from the second quarter into the third quarter and went on to beat Marionville 33-28 on Thursday night.
Strafford held a 20-14 lead about midway through the second quarter. Marionville scored the final five points of the period to get within one at halftime.
The offense for both sides seemed to have stayed in the locker room.
Both teams were scoreless in the third period until Strafford’s Jenna Clements made two free throws at the 2:37 mark to give the Lady Indians a 22-19 lead.
“We went about an eight or nine minute span there without scoring,” said Strafford coach David Brewer. “It was an opportunity for us to get away from (Marionville) and we didn’t, the good thing was we were holding them in check as well.”
Marionville scored just two points in the third quarter and trailed 24-21 entering the fourth, where the offense finally picked back up.
Marionville’s Josie Young tied the game at 28 apiece on her basket with just over two minutes to go. But Strafford scored the final five points – all coming at the free throw line.
Turnovers plagued both teams. Class 3 Strafford’s full-court press bothered the Lady Comets throughout the game.
Marionville coach Ted Young also recalled numerous open layup opportunities that his Class 2 team was unable to convert.
“I think (Strafford’s defense) probably had something to do with it,” he said. “But some of it, just walking with the ball or missing (layups), I think that’s something we have control over.
“We haven’t struggled with (the press) that bad. Tonight, I guess, was one of those nights where nothing went right. We just looked like we weren’t prepared and that’s my fault. We’ll work on it in the morning.”
No player scored in double digits on the night. Strafford freshman Kaylee Larimer had a game-high nine points.
“We play 10 or 11 kids and we trust all of them,” Brewer said. “We usually have a lot of 6 and 8 point totals.”
The Lady Comets (10-5) host their own tournament next week. Strafford (8-7) is at the Mountain Grove tournament next week.
Strafford 33, Marionville 28
Strafford 8 12 4 9 --- 33
Marionville 9 10 2 7 --- 28
Strafford – Kaylee Larimer 9, Morgan Graffis 6, Amanda Rowden 5, Alissa Rowden 5, Emily Oberbeck 4, Jenna Clements 2, Megan Carrell 2
Marionville – Josie Young 6, Amy Hicks 6, Jaycie Dishman 6, Bailie Stine 4, Whitney Wright 4, Brooke Nelson 2