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Kelly, Dexter to meet for championship

Friday, December 22, 2006

(Photo)
Kelly's Katee Moore tries to pass around a Twin Rivers defender.
BROSELEY - The finals are set in the 10th Annual Lady Royals Holiday Classic Tournament at Twin Rivers High School, as the Kelly Lady Hawks will face the Dexter Lady Bearcats on tonight at 7:30 p.m.

Kelly defeated Twin Rivers 67-54 and Dexter knocked off Naylor, 49-34, to advance to the finals.

In other action on Thursday, Portageville defeated Neelyville 57-50 and will meet Doniphan in the fifth place game on today at 4:30 p.m. The Donettes defeated Greenville 57-38.

New Madrid County Central and Senath-Hornersville are set for the consolation final today at 3 p.m. The Lady Eagles defeated Clearwater 55-45 and the Lady Lions got past Charleston 63-47.

Kelly took advantage of nine Lady Royal turnovers in the second quarter to open up a close game and slide past Twin Rivers, 67-54.

Twin Rivers led 10-9 after one quarter of action and seemed to be riding the momentum from the upset of top-seeded Doniphan a day ago.

However, Kelly closed out the second quarter on a 10-1 run to lead 31-25 at halftime.

"Give credit to Twin Rivers," said Kelly head coach Rod McQuerter, "they have an excellent coach (Jeff Walk) and an outstanding team. They played excellent defense in the first half and took us out of things we like to do. We had to play a great game to get past this team."

For Walk, he expected a falloff after the school's first ever win over Doniphan.

"We played a whole lot better against Doniphan," said Walk. "It is easy for the girls to get up against a team we have never beaten before. We are a young team and it was kind of a let-down game tonight. Having said all that, give credit to Kelly for having good defensive pressure. We have to get better playing against pressure and we will work on it."

As in the second quarter, Kelly ended the third quarter on a run. The Lady Hawks led 51-37 entering the fourth quarter after outscoring Twin Rivers 9-0 to end the third.

Kelly had three players reach double-digits and did a nice job of moving the basketball around the Lady Royals zone defense.

"Our strategy for every game is to get everybody involved in the offense," said McQuerter. "We like for the girls to be involved in the game and I thought the girls did a nice job tonight of being unselfish and making the extra pass."

Senior point guard Brittany Ponder ran the show for Kelly on offense and defense leading the team with 19 points, eight assists and had five steals.

Sophomores Debra Hall and Katee Moore had 12 points apiece for the Lady Hawks. Junior Sarah Ruff continues to hustle and make plays for Kelly, with nine points, nine rebounds and five steals.

Kelly forced Twin Rivers to commit 18 turnovers in the contest and outscored the Lady Royals 43-27 in the deciding second and third quarters.

"The bottom line for the game is that they executed on offense and we didn't," said Walk. "Kelly played good defense and we just choked it up tonight facing their pressure."

Junior Briana Johnson led the Lady Royals with 14 points, 16 rebounds and five steals. Fellow junior Kaylee Blue also chipped in 14 points and led Twin Rivers with four assists.

Twin Rivers (7-4) will meet Naylor in the third place at 6 p.m.

Kelly (7-1) has never won the Lady Royals tourney, finishing as high as second place in 2003.

The Portageville Lady Bulldogs outscored Neelyville 33-18 in the second half and will play in the fifth place game with a 57-50 win over the Lady Tigers.

Portageville trailed 32-24 at the half, but outscored the Lady Tigers 19-9 in the third quarter to gain the momentum. The Lady Bulldogs went to work in the paint with senior Lauren Kellams and junior Kellye Penn.

Kellams and Penn each had six points in the quarter and wore down Neelyville, who only played seven players the entire game.

"We played awful in the first half," said Portageville head coach Eric Ellerbrook. "I told the girls just to focus on the little things in the locker room. The little things are moving your feet on defense and just playing hard the entire time you are on the floor. I thought the girls came out of the half and played hard, but smart."

The Lady Bulldogs got back into the contest late in the third quarter, as Portageville went on a 10-2 run to tie the game at 39 with 1:30 to play in the quarter. Penn put the Lady Bulldogs up 43-41, on a five-footer to beat the buzzer.

Portageville (10-2) pressed the entire second half and it seemed to sap some of the energy of a depleted Neelyville team. Portageville's bench outscored Neelyville's bench 15-2 in the contest.

"We wanted to get them tired and hopefully the shots they were making in the first half, wouldn't fall late," said Ellerbrook. "I think we capitalized on their turnovers and got some key rebounds late to ice the game."

Penn led Portageville with 17 points and seven rebounds (five offensive). Senior Hannah Rone had 10 points (all in the second half), four steals and three assists to pace the Lady Bulldogs.

Deanna Deere chipped in seven points, five rebounds and had three steals for Portageville.

Neelyville was led by senior Jennifer Hardin who had a game-high 23 points and nine rebounds. Libby Parish was the only other double-digit scorer for the Lady Tigers with 14 points.

"Until we adjusted at halftime, said Ellerbrook, "we were getting killed with the fakes and the backdoor cuts. Neelyville ran a good offense and had us confused at times."

The New Madrid County Central Lady Eagles defeated the Clearwater Lady Tigers 55-45 to reach the consolation final.

The inside play of senior Heavenly Wren and freshman Jasmine Flennoy paced NMCC to the victory. Wren poured in 18 points and Flennoy tossed in 16 points.

Freshman point guard Shameka Williams netted 12 points to round out the double-digit scorers for the Lady Eagles.

The Charleston Lady Bluejays could not hold a halftime lead and fell to the Senath-Hornersville Lady Lions, 63-47.

Charleston led 28-26 at the break, but was outscored 19-6 in the third quarter by the Lions and could never recover. Senath outscored the Lady 'Jays 37-19 in the second half.

Freshman Jerquawnda Sherrell led Charleston with 13 points. Sydney Lawrence tossed in 11 points, while Raven Walker and Kariah Simpson pumped in eight points apiece for Charleston.

The Dexter Lady Bearcats used a balanced attack to take care of the Naylor Lady Eagles, 49-34.

Dexter forced 17 turnovers and held all-stater Hailee Deckard in check for much of the contest. Deckard finished with 14 points for Naylor.

All five Dexter starters scored seven points or more in the game led by sophomore Katelyn Heil who had 10 points and six rebounds. Amanda Dooley had eight points and six boards.

Senior guard Molly Burleson had eight points with three assists for the Lady Bearcats. Sophomore Ashlee Taylor had nine points, six rebounds and four steals before fouling out. Cathryn Heil grabbed a team leading nine rebounds off the bench for Dexter.