(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
CHAFFEE -- It may go unnoticed in the box score following a close four-point game, but the charge drew by Scott City senior Macy Heisserer late in the fourth quarter proved to be more important than actually putting points on the board.
"It's the little things like that," Scott City head coach Kerry Thompson said. "That was huge. That was one of the biggest plays of the game."
The Lady Rams held a two-point lead with just 30 seconds left to go when Heisserer took a punishing hit from the freight train that was Kelly's Londyn Backfisch.
It not only gave possession back to Scott City, it was also the fifth foul on Backfisch putting the dangerous senior on the bench for the remainder of the game aiding the 47-43 Scott City victory on Wednesday night in the semifinals round of the Scott-Mississippi Conference tournament at Chaffee High School.
"I didn't think she could come at me like that," Heisserer said. "She's my size and she's got a lot of force with her."
Heisserer herself was on the floor with four personal fouls as well. But, she didn't care. All she wanted to do was get the ball.
"I didn't care what I had to do," she said. "If I had to foul out, I didn't care; just get the ball back so she couldn't score. All that was in my mind was to getting in front and get the ball."
Although that play may have gave the Lady Rams all of the advantages heading into the dwindling seconds of the game, the resourceful Lady Hawks pulled it to within a one-point game with 17 seconds left after Carissa Klipfel sank 1-of-2 from the free throw line.
Scott City, however, had another gutsy performance from senior Stephanie Essner, who was battling cramps throughout the entire fourth quarter and some of the third. Essner sank two of the three late free throws to ice the win for the Lady Rams.
"It was the toughness they showed," Thompson said. "Whether it was taking a pounding or Stephanie gutting it out with her injury. She was hurting bad and I didn't know if she was going back in or not. Then she hit some crucial free throws. She's a competitor and competitor's do that."
Essner, with cramps and all, led the Lady Rams with 18 points while sophomore Katie Hogan added 10 points to go along with her 10 rebounds. Hogan was pounded on the inside during the entire night in what was a very physical contest on both sides.
"We knew it was going to be that kind of game," Thompson said. "When us and Kelly get together it's not the smoothest of games. I knew they were going to come after her (Hogan) hard. This year she has been so good at taking the poundings and getting more aggressive. Her stats speak for themselves."
The Lady Hawks fought back from a nine-point deficit after the first half at the end of the third quarter to set up the exciting last period.
Kelly started the third with a 7-0 run until Heisserer ended it with a 3-pointer. Essner followed up with another 3-pointer and shortly after began to feel the effects of her injury. The Lady Hawks, who were then down by 10 at the time, brought it back to within two, 34-32 at the end of the third quarter.
"Both teams came out and played well," Kelly head coach Rod McQuerter said. "One team has to lose and tonight we got beat. But, all I'm looking for is that our girls have a positive attitude tomorrow, play hard and play as a team."
Kelly had a balanced scoring attack with seven players contributing, although, none were in double figures. Kristen Powell led with eight points while Backfisch and Ellen Ashcraft added seven points apiece.
Starting with Backfisch, the Lady Hawks had both Powell and Klipfel foul out with less than 30 seconds to go. They also had two crucial turnovers when trying to tie the 45-43 game.
"They (Scott City) stayed poised with a minute to go," McQuerter said. "Today, we had some mental lapses. That's what were going to have to work on."
Kelly (7-4) falls to the third place game against the Charleston Lady Bluejays which will be played tonight at 5:30 p.m.
For Scott City (7-3), this win puts them in the conference championship game against the Delta Lady Bobcats tonight at 8:30 p.m. However, this was a huge win against one of their recent rivals of the past few seasons which wasn't lost on Heisserer.
"Some years they've stomped us and some years it's been close," she said. "We knew it was going to be a good game and we were ready for them. It was just an awesome win tonight."
KELLY (43) -- Londyn Backfisch 7, Carissa Klipfel 4, Neely Tetley 6, Kayla Hicks 5, Ellen Ashcraft 7, Samantha Fisher 6, Kristen Powell 8. FG 13, FT 15-29, F 23. (3-pointers: Ashcraft 1, Kristen Powell 1. Fouled out: Backfisch, Klipfel, Powell).
SCOTT CITY (47) -- Stacey Heisserer 3, Stephanie Essner 18, Melanie Lacey 1, Katie Hogan 10, Holli Shemonia 3, Macey Heisserer 5, Ashley Brant 7. FG 14, FT 17-34, F 22. (3-pointers: Essner 2, M. Heisserer 1. Fouled out: none).
The No. 1 seeded Charleston Lady Bluejays were upset by the No. 4 seed Delta Lady Bobcats on Wednesday night in a very close and thrilling 58-57 defeat in the first semifinal matchup of the night.
Charleston had to fight back from a 15-point deficit in the third quarter to make it such a tight game at the end. The defensive prowess of the Lady Bluejays began to take it's toll on Delta coming away with numerous tipped passes and steals that went the other way for Charleston.
Unfortunately for the Lady Bluejays they did not have that same type of success in the first half which is where head coach Michael Minner thought the game was lost.
"We didn't play well enough early," Minner said. "We lost the ball game in the first half. In the second half we just gassed them. We've got to find a way to come out and play that way early. Then, when they're gassed we can put them away. We can't play from behind."
The Lady Bluejays (8-3) found themselves within three points with just 7.8 seconds to go. Charleston's inbounds play went exactly as they planned it as the Lady Bluejays' feared 3-point shooter Jerquawnda Sherrell received the inbounds pass and got a clean 3-point shot off. It rimmed out, then in, then finally, out again. Jasmine Spence came down with the rebound for the Lady Bluejays and made the put-back with 1.9 seconds left showing on the clock.
After a bizarre inbounds play that was stolen away by Sherrell while still out of bounds was given back to the Lady Bobcats, they simply heaved a pass down court which drained the remaining seconds off the clock to preserve the win.
Sherrell led Charleston's four double-digit scorers with 23 points. Chelsie Lane and Kasuela Cooper each added 12 while Spence chipped in with 10.
Delta was led by Machela VanGennip's 25 points. Tori Burton added 16 and Samantha Bartels had 11.
DELTA (58) -- Ashley Glaus 2, Taylor Smith 2, Kendra Burnett 2, Machela VanGennip 25, Tori Burton 16, Samantha Bartels 11. FG 17, FT 15-20, F 15. (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: none).
CHARLESTON (57) -- Jerquawnda Sherrell 23, Chelsie Lane 12, Kasuela Cooper 12, Jasmine Spence 10. FG 23, FT 9-16, F 18. (3-pointers: Sherrell 2. Fouled out: none).
In the junior varsity bracket, the Scott City Lady Rams and the Kelly Lady Hawks will meet in the championship game at 7 p.m. tonight after their victories over Charleston and East Prairie.
The Lady Rams defeated Charleston 56-14 and was led by Alexis Spriggs' 12 points. Andrea Gray added 11.
Charleston was led by Roniqea Mitchell's 5 points.
The Lady Hawks took care of the East Prairie Lady Eagles 43-15.
Bridgett Chandler led Kelly with 14 points. East Prairie's Casey Gilmore led he squad with six points.
CHARLESTON (14) -- Kendra Hines 4, Roniqea Mitchell 5, Makayla Thompson 1, Shay Ware 4. FG 6, FT 1-5, F 14. (3-pointers: Mitchell 1. Fouled out: none).
SCOTT CITY (56) -- Katie Rhymer 4, Jenna Cummins 5, Jessica Boswell 7, Tana Tetley 6, Alexis Spriggs 12, Alicia Kern 6, Andrea Gray 11, Brittany Kiefer 5. FG 25, FT 6-17, F 6. (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: none).
EAST PRAIRIE (15) -- Casey Gilmore 6, Brianna Strayhorn 3, Montana Brown 2, Brooklyn Sprinkles 2, Jackie Archie 2. FG 6, FT 2-7, F 13. (3-pointers: Strayhorn 1. Fouled out: none).
KELLY (43) -- Bridgett Chandler 14, Karlie Ashcraft 8, Cassidy Fisher 2, Anna Santora 5, Jessica Worth 6, Katie Koonce 8. FG 16, FT 10-23, F 5. (3-pointers: Santora 1. Fouled out: none).