The Kelly Lady Hawks defeated No. 5 seed Greenville Lady Bears 59-53 to advance to the semifinals. Kelly will face No. 9 seed Twin Rivers who had the shocker of the tournament, defeating top seed Doniphan, 58-53.
The Portageville Lady Bulldogs fell to the No. 3 seed Naylor Lady Eagles 52-35 and will face Neelyville in a consolation semifinal. The Lady Tigers lost to the Dexter Lady Bearcats in the final quarterfinal game of the night, 70-25.
The Kelly Lady Hawks advanced to the semifinals with a hard-fought 59-53 win over the Greenville Lady Bears.
Kelly hit 11 crucial free throws in the fourth quarter to hold off a late Lady Bears rally.
"Greenville is an extremely tough team," said Kelly head coach Rod McQuerter. "They have two all-state caliber players and are very well-
The two all-star caliber players from Greenville that McQuerter spoke were junior Sarah Woodgeard, who was a Class 3 second team all-stater last season, and 6-foot-1 freshman Tara Porter.
Kelly had problems all night guarding Porter in the paint and holding the 5-10 Woodgeard out on the perimeter. Porter ended her night with 21 points and 12 rebounds, while Woodgeard got to the free throw line 11 times on drives through the line and finished with 19 points, 11 rebounds and four assists.
"Woodgeard is one of the top players in the state," said McQuerter. "We had to respect her wherever she was on the floor. She makes everybody better on her team when she is driving to the basket and dishing the basketball off. She is just a complete player and is very difficult to defend against."
Kelly led 45-44 with four minutes to play in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Debra Hall increased the lead for the Lady Hawks with an offensive putback to increase the lead to 47-44 with 3:45 left in the game.
Porter cut the Kelly lead to 48-46 for Greenville at 2:30 in the fourth on a nice post move in the lane. Katee Moore responded for the Lady Hawks with a 10-foot jumper on the next possession to push the lead up to 50-46.
Once again for the Lady Bears, Porter pounded Kelly in the paint with an offensive rebound and putback. Greenville trailed 50-48 with 1:50 to play in the fourth quarter.
Kelly went on an 8-2 run in the next 1:20 of the game. All the Lady Hawks points were made from the free throw line to ice the game. Hall made four straight free throws for Kelly, while seniors Brittany Ponder and Nikki Weiny hit two apiece late in the game to give the Lady Hawks the win.
"Kelly is a rivalry game for us due to playing them in the last couple of years in districts," said Greenville head coach Diane Meyer. "I thought both teams worked hard for the win and we have a lot of respect for Kelly."
Hall led Kelly with 18 points and nine rebounds. Kayla Cissell scored nine of her 10 points in the first half to jump start the Lady Hawks.
Weiny had 11 points off the bench off the bench for the Lady Hawks. Ponder did a nice job at the point for Kelly and finished with nine points, five assists and five rebounds.
Kelly forced 21 turnovers, seven in the third quarter, and held Greenville's bench to only two points.
"We were expecting Kelly to put pressure on us," said Meyer, "we just didn't get our shots to fall when we needed them. We are a young team and we do things young teams do. We didn't execute our offense in the first half and got in early foul trouble. We are learning and this will be a learning experience for us."
Greenville (5-2) will face Doniphan in one fifth place bracket game on Thursday at 5 p.m.
Kelly (6-1) battles the host Twin Rivers in a semifinal game at 8 p.m. on Thursday.
A combination of poor shooting and an abundance of turnovers doomed the Portageville Lady Bulldogs against the Naylor Lady Eagles.
Portageville trailed 10-7 after one quarter of action, but had only one field goal in the entire second quarter en route to being outscored 12-3 in the quarter.
Besides the shooting woes, the Lady Bulldogs committed 33 turnovers in the contest. The turnovers were mainly confined in the second and third quarters for Portageville. In the second, the Lady Bulldogs committed nine turnovers and then served up an additional 12 turnovers in the third quarter.
Naylor outscored Portageville 25-10 in the second and third quarters combined.
"I thought we were prepared tonight," said Portageville head coach Eric Ellerbrook. "Naylor was just the better team. They hustled and just wanted the game more than we did. We didn't execute, we made bad passes and we missed open shots. Bottom line, we didn't play our best ball tonight."
The nightmare second quarter doomed the Lady Bulldogs. Portageville was outscored 9-0 to start the quarter and didn't dent the scoreboard until Lauren Kellams hit a free throw with 1:50 remaining until halftime.
Kellams scored uncontested in the paint with a minute left in the second quarter for Portageville's only field goal. Naylor led 22-10 at the half.
Naylor pressed the entire game and executed a tight zone defense that seemed to frustrate the Lady Bulldogs.
"Naylor did a good job tonight and deserved the win," said Ellerbrook, "but we didn't help ourselves. We just couldn't hit any shots. We had easy buckets attempts, we just couldn't make them. It was a tough game to sit through."
Portageville trailed 35-17 heading into the fourth quarter. Despite the deficit, the Lady Bulldogs didn't surrender without a late surge. Senior Hannah Rone picked up her play in the fourth and scored eight points in the quarter to help Portageville get with 11 points, 35-24, with five minutes remaining in the game.
The Lady Eagles responded with 5-foot-10 all-state junior Hailee Deckard who scored five straight points to begin a Naylor 10-0 run, that put the game out of reach at 45-21 with four minutes to play.
Sophomore sharp-shooter Brooke Baccus led the Lady Eagles with 17 points, hitting four 3s in the game. Baccus also led Naylor with five steals. Deckard poured in 16 points and led Naylor with six rebounds and four assists.
Junior Charissa Bridges chipped in 11 points for the Lady Eagles. Naylor did not have a bench player break the scoring column.
Rone was the only Lady Bulldog to reach double-digits with 10 points. Rone also led Portageville with five rebounds and five assists. Deanna Deere chipped in with eight points.
Naylor attempted 22 free throws to Portageville's four attempts. The Lady Eagles had a 12-1 scoring advantage at the line in the contest.
Naylor (6-1) advances to the semifinals on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. to face the No. 2 seed Dexter Lady Bearcats.
Portageville (9-2) will battle Neelyville at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday.
The Dexter Lady Bearcats had no issues dispatching the No. 10 seeded Neelyville Lady Tigers to advance to the semifinals with a 70-25 victory.
The Lady Bearcats led 20-5 after one quarter and 41-8 at halftime.
Dexter held Neelyville to two field goals in the first half and got 22 points from their bench to cruise past the Lady Tigers.
Sophomore Jill Temples led a balanced attack for Dexter with 15 points. Senior Haylee Finch scored 13 points off the bench, all in the second half. Ashlee Taylor continued the stellar play by Dexter sophomores and had 12 points.
Point guard Molly Burleson pumped in 11 points, all in the first half and 5-
foot-11 Amanda Dooley chipped in with nine points for the Lady Bearcats.
Jennifer Hardin led Neelyville with eight points and Libby Parish chipped in seven points.