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Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

Charleston and Kelly girls set to play for district title

Tuesday, March 2, 2004

Woodland's Amanda Abner attempts to foul Charleston's Miquel McCleary.
BLOOMFIELD - The stage is set for the Class 3, District 2 girls championship game as top-seeded Charleston will meet No. 2 seed Kelly on Thursday night.

Charleston (19-6) struggled, but made it past fifth-seeded Woodland 66-62 Monday night. Kelly (20-6) defeated No. 6 St. Vincent 57-26 in the nightcap at Bloomfield High School.

The Lady Bluejays overcame two ties with Woodland in the fourth quarter and pulled away with some stellar free throw shooting.

Charleston made 12-of-16 free throws in the fourth quarter and 20-of-27 for the game.

Lady Bluejay senior Missy Whitney was unstoppable, scoring 21 of her game-high 32 points in the second half. She was 13-of-16 from the free throw line and even brought the ball up the floor against Woodland's full-court press.

Kelly's Kelly Essner battles for a loose ball.
"She's a tremendous talent," said Woodland head coach Curt Finley. "Anytime she wants to she can go to the basket. She's really tough to stop. We were going to put her on the free throw line, but she finished 13-for-16 from the line. She even hit a 3-point bucket. You just have to deal with it."

Whitney got some help out of 6-foot-2 junior Shytoria Davis, who recorded 19 points with numerous blocked shots. Senior guard Fleater Quinn scored 11 points.

"It wasn't as easy as we thought it would be -- not at all," said Charleston head coach Kelly Barnes. "I think they came in thinking we had it before we even tipped it off. Woodland played a good game, they've got a good group of girls."

Charleston led 16-11 after one quarter and 32-29 at the half. Woodland played the Lady Jays tight the rest of the way but couldn't overtake the top seed.

Woodland (10-15) was led by Cortney Glastetter's 21 points. Elisha Glastetter finished with 14 points.

"Because of our size disadvantage and our youth, we really have to come out every night and try to out-hustle teams. We stayed in the game due to our hustle, you know, going after every loose ball.

Two days after holding East Prairie to six points, the Lady Hawks kept the defensive intensity going on Monday, limiting the Lady Indians to just 26 points.

"I'm just very proud of our effort from the girls," said Kelly head coach Rod McQuerter. "They have stayed focused.

They're committed to our philosophy of playing defense. We've told them that you must play defense during tournament time. We want to try to peak defensively right now."

Kelly got a game-high 24 points out of junior Kelly Essner, including 10-of-16 shooting from the free throw line. Mindy Robert followed up with 12 points.

"It's a team effort," said McQuerter. "Every person on this team contributed tonight. Some of the things that you didn't see were the charges, the deflections. Those are the important things to us. Each girl played hard and played as a team."

Charleston and Kelly have split the series this season, setting up an interesting championship game Thursday night.

"Charleston's a very talented and well-coached team," said McQuerter. "They're going to be tough to beat. They have two great inside players -- two of the best girls in the area.

They have outside shooters. It's going to be a very tough ballgame and we just hope our girls stay focused and play hard."