Kelly took advantage of early NMCC turnovers and effective post play from a freshman to power past the Lady Eagles.
The Lady Eagles committed 13 turnovers in the first quarter and freshman Debra Hall was unstoppable down low for the Lady Hawks. Hall poured in eight points in the quarter, as Kelly jumped on top 18-7 after one quarter of play.
Senior Mindy Robert chipped in with four points and Brittany Ponder dished out three assists in the first. NMCC could not get in a offensive flow due to some erratic passing and decision making.
"We had some good practices this week," said NMCC head coach Lance Tollison, "but tonight for some reason we decided to try and dribble through Kelly's pressure and it cost us. Our girls have a tendency to not be aggressive early on in games and as a result, we tend to get behind and it is a struggle the whole game to recover."
The Lady Eagles responded with a 6-0 run of their own and closed the gap to 32-26 with one minute to play in the second. Kelly hit two free throws late in the quarter and led 34-26 at the half.
Hall led Kelly in the first half with 15 points. Ponder had six points and four assists, while Sarah Ruff ended the half with four points and led the Lady Hawks with five rebounds.
"The girls have been working improving their defensive intensity and attitude," said Kelly head coach Rod McQuerter. "Our freshmen and sophomores did a tremendous job tonight. Give New Madrid credit for staying in the game and playing with a lot of intensity."
Heavenly Wren led NMCC at the break with 14 points, five rebounds and five steals. Tsia Matthews chipped in with nine points at the half for the Lady Eagles.
NMCC got more aggressive on offense in the third quarter and went on a 7-0 run midway through the third. At 3:02, Kelly led 44-37.
The Lady Hawks committed eight turnovers in the third quarter and seemed hesitant on the offensive end. What was not hesitant was the post play of Hall in the third. Hall kept Kelly going with nine points and was a force down low, as Kelly led 50-39 heading into the fourth quarter.
"Debra is learning everyday and is trying to adjust from the junior varsity intensity, to the varsity intensity," said McQuerter. "Debra plays all out every time and she is learning to pace herself."
Kelly led 50-42 at 7:00 and scored the next four points, thanks to consecutive baskets in the paint from Hall.
NMCC responded by pressuring Kelly full court and getting some steals for easy baskets. At 3:45 in the fourth, Matthews got a steal and lay-in to cut the Kelly lead to 54-49.
Freshman Katee Moore hit two free throws at 3:23 and extended the Lady Hawks lead to 56-49. NMCC cut the lead back to five points, on a runner in the lane by Jasmine Beasley.
Hall extended the lead for Kelly with two consecutive baskets in the paint and the Lady Hawks led 60-51 at 2:00 of the fourth quarter.
NMCC did not quit and frustrated Kelly with man-to-man full court pressure. Beasley intercepted a Kelly pass and found Wren down low for two points, as the Lady Eagles trailed 60-53 with 1:30 to play.
The Lady Eagles got within five points again at 1:10 on a steal and lay-in by Beasley. Kelly sealed the victory on a nice pass from Ponder to Nikki Weiny, who put in the two points. Kelly won the game 62-57.
"We got more aggressive in the second half," said Tollison. "This was the first time we went full court man defense. I would like to press more, but we our not very deep and you have to pick and choose."
Wren led NMCC (10-12) with 19 points, eight rebounds and six steals. Matthews had 17 points and six rebounds, while Beasley chipped in with six points, three steals, two rebounds and two assists.
Hall finished the game for Kelly with 28 points and 10 rebounds (five offensive). Weiny had 10 points and five assists. Ponder ran the point effectively for Kelly and had six points and six assists.
Robert ended the game for Kelly with five points and six rebounds, while Ruff chipped in with four points and six boards also.
"I was pleased with how our seniors came in and helped the freshmen learn how to play," said McQuerter. "We are a young team and we have to be patient with all our freshmen and sophomores. We are starting to settle down as a team and not rush things. I believe we have come a long ways since the start of the season."
Kelly was most affective as a team passing the ball to the open teammate. Kelly had 17 assists as a team, compared to six for NMCC.
Kelly won the rebounding battle 29-27 over NMCC, and had 10 offensive rebounds to nine for the Lady Eagles.
NMCC committed a total of 26 turnovers and had 14 steals as a team. Kelly had 24 turnovers and had 11 steals as a team.
Kelly (14-7) hosts Scott Central on Monday.