“The one thing you can count on when you play another city school is that you’re going to play each other tight; there are a lot of bragging rights,” said Parkview coach Keri Nichols. “The past two years have been really huge fights between the two of us.”
Parkview lost to Hillcrest in their last two meetings, but they came out ready to play with their lead scorer, Tyra Moore (23 points), scoring a quick layup in the first seconds of the game.
“Tyra did a great job as point guard and of controlling the ball. We knew that we wanted it to be fast paced and she really attacked the rim,” Nichols said. “In a close ball game, that’s a difference maker.”
Caught off guard only briefly, the Lady Hornets soon answered back with points by the game’s leading scorer, Kelsie Cleeton (27 points).
The Lady Vikings held a 21-14 lead to start the second quarter, and then the Lady Hornets led 31-30 going into the third. By the fourth, however, the Vikings had retaken the lead narrowly, 47-44.
Nearly matched for offensive talent, Parkview and Hillcrest both struggled to control the game defensively.
The Lady Vikings’ second leading scorer Aubrey Buckley (19 points) was a constant and effective mark for the Hornets’ Brittany Fisher (2 points); but Fisher, despite her inability to find the net, was a key player for Hillcrest’s defense.
“I really felt the key was our defense. [Hillcrest] has good scorers in Fisher and Cleeton and we knew we would have to stop one of them.” Nichols said. “Buckley marked Fisher the whole night and kept her score low.”
“Brittany Fisher was asked tonight to have a tough defensive assignment and I think she did a good job. She had six blocked shots and she was our leading rebounder. I just think some of our other shots didn’t fall,” said Hillcrest’s coach Jeni Hopkins.
Parkview fought hard to hold onto their narrow lead early in the fourth quarter, but Moore showed no signs of cracking under the pressure totaling 11 points in the quarter and going 9 for 9 on free throws.
“Going into this game I knew it would probably be tough. The biggest challenge was definitely getting around their defense,” Moore said.
Cleeton matched Moore point of point in the fourth, however, scoring one of only two 3-pointers in the game.
Ultimately the Lady Vikings were able to inch ahead in the last three minutes, finally taking a 10-point lead after an outstanding 26-point quarter.
The win leaves Parkview at 7-6 for the season. They will go on to play at Ozark on Jan 14. Hillcrest stands at 5-5. They play Mount Vernon next in the Bolivar Tournament on Jan. 14.
Parkview 73, Hillcrest 63
Parkview—Tyra Moore 23, Aubrey Buckley 19, Kianna McDaniel 17, Bri Stiles 5, Tenea Brown 5, Brooke Hawkins 4.
Hillcrest—Kelsie Cleeton 27, Kristin Todd 10, Lilly Beam 8, Kelbi Painter 7, Kaycee Gerard 7, Alissa Ruggles 2, Alexis Cheek 2.