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Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

Donettes rout Kelly in sectional game

Thursday, March 9, 2006

Kelly's Amber Dirnberger, left, Leigh Ann Buchheit, center, and Mindy Robert get emotional as the clock winds down.
POPLAR BLUFF - The Kelly Lady Hawks basketball team lost to a very tough Doniphan Donettes squad 58-23, on Wednesday night in Class 3 sectional action at Poplar Bluff High School.

This win marks the second time in as many years for the Donettes winning over Kelly in sectional play. Doniphan put the Lady Hawks away early with hot shooting and good, solid pressure defense.

Doniphan hit six 3-pointers by halftime and forced Kelly to commit 18 turnovers by half. Sharp-shooter Morgan Davis, a 5-foot-6 junior guard, led the Donettes in the first half with three 3's and Doniphan hounded Kelly the entire first half with a 2-2-1 fullcourt press. "Entire area of southeast Missouri has problems with Doniphan's pressure," said coach Rod McQuerter of Kelly. "We were no exception tonight. Give them some credit, coach (Jimbo) Blackwell has his team well prepared and they get you out of what you want to do. They had an excellent game plan tonight."

Kelly trailed early in the first quarter, 6-4, with five minutes remaining in the quarter. Doniphan reeled off eight straight points and led 14-4 with three minutes left in the first.

In the 8-0 run, Davis converted on a conventional 3-point play for the Donettes, followed by a Jaysa Blackwell 3-pointer to lead Doniphan early. Kelly trailed 19-8 after the first, after Davis of Doniphan hit a 3-pointer as time expired.

Kelly's Katee Moore, top, and Doniphan's Ashley Adams fight for a loose ball.
Starting with the Davis 3 to end the first, Doniphan proceeded to go on a 8-0 run to start the second quarter and led 24-8 at 7:00 of the quarter. The Donettes kept up the pressure and eventually had a 19-2 run to lead 35-10 late in the second.

As in the first quarter, Davis ended the second with a 3-pointer and the Donettes led comfortably at the half, 46-14.

"I was real concerned coming into this game," said Blackwell. "Kelly has been a solid team all year and we worked in practice on trying to combat their size. We played a heck of a game and I am so proud of our kids."

Davis led the Donettes at halftime with 21 points and had three steals. Jaysa Blackwell had seven points off the bench for Doniphan, while 5-10 junior forward Adja Jones ended the half with six points and four rebounds.

Sarah Ruff scored six points and had three rebounds at halftime for the Lady Hawks. The big story for Kelly in the first half, was the fact that their three leading scorers -- Brittany Ponder, Debra Hall and Mindy Robert -- were each held scoreless.

In the second half, the contest was never in doubt and a running clock consumed all of the fourth quarter. Doniphan moves on to the quarterfinals with the 58-23 victory.

"They were hot tonight and hit some big shots to put us down early," said McQuerter. "Our girls gave maximum effort on defense, but they have so many weapons. Tough to just key on one player. Davis is a great player and hit some tough shots early. I thought we defended her well, but players like Davis just find a way to score."

Davis ended the contest with a game-high 24 points and had four steals. Blackwell, Angela Rodgers and Adja Jones each chipped in with seven points for the Donettes.

Doniphan went 19-for-36 from the field, a 53 percent clip. The Donettes ended with eight 3-pointers in total for the contest.

Chelsea Swindle led Doniphan with five rebounds off the bench and Swindle also tied for assists leader on Doniphan with Haily Reed, both dished out three assists apiece.

Sarah Ruff led Kelly with seven points and four rebounds.

The Lady Hawks struggled to find the basket all night and were 9-for-38 from the field, for only a 23 percent clip. Kelly's bench outscored the starters in the game, 13-10.

"I was very pleased with our defensive effort," said Blackwell. "Our post players basically took away their inside game and I believe that was a big factor in the game."

Doniphan outrebounded Kelly 22-14, but the Lady Hawks had a slight advantage on the offensive boards, 7-5. While Kelly had four assists as a team, Doniphan garnered 14 assists.

The Lady Hawks committed 21 turnovers, compared to five steals. The Donettes had 19 turnovers with 11 steals as a team.

"Doniphan plays extremely hard and I wish them well in the quarterfinals," said McQuerter. "I really hope they bring home the championship trophy."

McQuerter acknowledged that losing his three seniors, Amber Dirnberger, Robert and Buchheit, will be an adjustment for all associated with the Kelly program.

"Our seniors have fought through injury after injury and they stuck it out all year," said McQuerter. "It is hard to express how I feel about them. They never gave up and worked extremely hard just to get where they are today. Excellent role models for our younger girls. They will be missed."

Kelly ends the season at 20-9.

Doniphan (27-3) faces Career Academy in the quarterfinals on Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. at the Farmington Civic Center.