(Photo by Chris Pobst, Staff)
The "battle of the lady birds" was a tight one the whole way. The biggest lead for either team was nine points, which was achieved by the Lady Hawks in the fourth quarter.
"I'm very proud of our team," Kelly head coach Rod McQuerter. "Our freshmen and sophomores came in and played big for us. Our senior leader got out there and led us tonight. I'm very proud of this young basketball team. New Madrid played well, our girls played well and it was a good girls basketball game."
NMCC grabbed the early lead going up 14-11 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Lady Hawks managed to outscore NMCC by five points to take a 29-27 lead at halftime.
After the break, the Lady Eagles returned the favor, outscoring Kelly 10-9. All of NMCC's third quarter points were scored by Tameika Williams, which kept the Lady Eagles close trailing by only one, 38-37, with only the fourth quarter left to play.
Another basket by Tameika Williams put the Lady Eagles back on top, 39-38, to open the fourth quarter. Then, Shanequa Daniels added one more bucket for NMCC to go up by three points.
Down by three, 41-38, the Lady Hawks started getting the ball to their junior post-player Debra Hall. Hall scored 10 consecutive points to give Kelly a 49-
With three minutes left to play, Kelly was holding a comfortable nine point lead, 52-43, when the Lady Eagles tried to crawl their way back into the game.
A two point basket by Jasmine Flennoy with only one minute remaining, put NMCC within three points of the lead, 52-49. But, Hall and Londyn Backfisch each hit two, clutch free throws to ice the game for the Lady Hawks.
"I think we played really well," Hall said. "We came out kind of soft, but, we picked up our game and we knew this wasn't going to be an easy game so we had to grind every minute of it out."
Hall finished with a game-high 28 points and was 12-15 from the free throw line. Backfisch added 10 points and was 6-8 from the free throw line.
NMCC was led by Shameika and Tameika Williams who each scored 16 points. Jasmine Flennoy finished with 11 points and was 5-6 from the free throw line.
"I think that's the best overall effort all season long," Lady Eagles head coach David Crockett said. "We put four quarters together, missed a few shots here and there, and there were a couple of defensive stops we should have had, but overall, I'm proud of them. They worked their butts off tonight and that's all I can ask."
The Lady Eagles will be on the road for their next contest traveling to Scott City to take on the Lady Rams next Monday.
The Kelly Lady Hawks will play host to the Scott County Central Bravettes on Monday as well.