Ozark, who moved to 10-5 with the win, had no trouble offensively, especially from the outside. Defensively, they were able to hold the Lady Vikings to just 15 points in the first half and just three in the third quarter.
Ozark head coach Yancey Little said he felt his team’s defense did a good job, but wanted to see them create more turnovers with fewer fouls. Two of his post players found themselves in foul trouble early in the game.
“I thought defensively we forced some turnovers by them. I’m not saying we played great defense – we fouled a lot; put them at the line,” said Little. “We tried to turn up the heat, make it uncomfortable for them, and I think that’s what we did tonight.”
Parkview’s guards, sophomore Tyra Moore and senior Brooke Hawkins, seemed to handle the full-court press well early in the game. However, when they broke the timeline, they found it difficult to get the ball into the hands of their star post, junior Aubrey Buckley.
The times she did get the ball, she was able to score. In the first-half, Buckley had 12 of the team’s 15 points. Tiger defense and foul trouble held her to only three in the second-half – finishing with a team high 15 points.
The Lady Vikings struggled to get any offense going after missing some outside shots early. Then later in the game they began to pass up shots while trying to dump it inside to Buckley. Next to Buckley, senior Brianna Stiles was the closest to double digits, scoring seven points – mostly in the fourth quarter against the Tiger bench.
Parkview coach Keri Nichols said her team hasn’t been able to find consistency in scoring points.
The Lady Tigers looked solid offensively – handling the quick Parkview guards’ pressure and able to find an open player for a layup or an outside shot. After going up 39-15 in the half, Ozark came out with a 17-3 advantage in the third before Little cleared his bench in the fourth.
Little said he liked what he saw out of his players and is hoping they continue to improve on scoring – not just shooting. In some of the big games Ozark has played this year, the Lady Tigers have struggled offensively.
“We just got to get a couple scorers. That’s our biggest deal,” said Little. “We like to shoot. Sometimes that’s good; sometimes that’s bad. We need to be more of a scoring-type team, and we tried to do a little be more of that tonight.”
The Lady Tigers had two players in double digits, with junior Hannah Cook scoring a game-high 21 points. Senior Haylee Beard followed with 14 and sophomore Brie Tauai contributed nine.
Ozark will host Willard Thursday in a conference matchup, while Parkview will take on Sedalia Smith-Cotton in the quarterfinal game of the Sedalia Tournament.