Posted: Friday, 15 March 2013 3:14PM

State Championship Preview: Webb City Lady Cardinals



 
So, how do you slay a giant?

The Webb City Lady Cardinals must figure that out in order to beat undefeated and nationally ranked juggernaut Incarnate Word Academy in Saturday’s Class 4 final at 4:50 p.m.

Here are five things to watch as Webb City tries to pull off the upset of all upsets.

CLICK HERE FOR A RECAP OF LAST NIGHT'S GAME

Against the odds

Webb City coach Brad Shorter called it “David vs. Goliath.” Not that Webb City is a weak team; IWA is just that good.

The Red Knights (30-0) have trounced most of their opponents this season, with an average margin of victory of 36 points. They beat Class 5 title favorite Rock Bridge by 17 in early February.

Their closest game? A 59-56 win over Hoover (Ala.) in the season opener. Hoover has reached the state finals in its class five years in a row, winning three times.

Hold the fort

Dexter wasn’t able to reach double digits until late in the second quarter Thursday night against IWA.

Webb City needs another start like it had in Thursday’s semifinal win over Smithville, not the one it had when the Lady Cardinals fell behind 7-0 against Sullivan in the March 9 quarterfinals.

If Webb City falls behind by 12 or more in the first quarter, it’ll be over.

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM THE SEMIFINALS
 
Target No. 1

The scariest thing about IWA? Their best player will be there for two more seasons.

Sophomore Napheesa Collier was named Gatorade’s Missouri Girls Basketball Player of the Year this week. Her stats are mind-blowing.

The 6-foot-1 guard averages 24.4 points and 11.7 rebounds per game. She also chips in over four steals, two blocks and two assists. She’s had a double-double in 26 of IWA’s 30 games and shoots nearly 70 percent from the field.

Other weapons

Junior guard Nakiah Bell would be a star player on almost any other team in the state. She averages about 11 points, seven assists and two steals per game. Senior guard Nia Roth averages over 11 points and shoots a team-best 69-for-171 from 3-point range.

IWA has three other players that average about six points or more. The Red Knights’ normal rotation includes about seven players.

Attack plan

Mikaela Burgess has the ability and guts to ignite a scoring run by herself, whether off a ball screen or going one-on-one off the dribble. She’ll certainly need to take care better care of the ball for this game after totaling 15 turnovers in Webb City’s last two games.

Webb City might try to slow the game down, and look to get forwards Casey Heger and Desirea Buerge some inside touches. Heger and Buerge combined for 16 free throw attempts against Smithville, although Heger missed seven of her nine tries.

Photo Galleries

Pictures: Best of 2013-14 Strafford Indians


Catch the top photos from the 2013-14 Strafford Indians.

Pictures: 2nd Annual 1 Awards Banquet


Catch photos from the 2nd Annual 1 Awards Banquet.

Pictures: Best of 2013-14 Stockton Tigers


Catch the best photos from the 2013-14 Stockton Tigers.
Videos
O-Zone Opinion
Mohawk Chronicles: Oklahoma the right choice for Dorial Green-Beckham
Dorial Green-Beckham is now an Oklahoma Sooner. If you're scratching your head right now, you're not alone. Yes, DGB will have to sit out the entire 2014 season, something that he wouldn't have had to do had he transferred to a FCS or D-2, but is...
Read More
Mohawk Chronicles: Ozark Conference 7v7 Football recap
For the third summer in a row Kickapoo hosted the Ozark Conference 7v7 Tournament. Here is a recap from the 3rd annual event. The Champs are here For the first time in the 3-year history of the Ozark Conference 7-on-7 Tournament someone...
Read More
The future is now for local soccer
We’re graduating a great crop of senior soccer players this spring. Anywhere from 15-25 will not only contend for all-state honors once the season is over, but also keep playing in college next school year. So, who replaces some of those top...
Read More
Most Viewed