CHAFFEE -- Although they are loaded with freshman and sophomores, the inexperienced Kelly Lady Hawks learned a lot the last time they played the Chaffee Lady Devils.
Kelly was blistered by the Lady Devils, 56-28, in their first meeting earlier this month but avenged that loss with a 39-36 win on Wednesday to eliminate the host team in the Lady Devils Invitational Tournament.
"The biggest thing is freshman have to learn," Kelly coach Rod McQuerter said. "The only way they can learn is through experience and the only way you can get experience is through playing. I sit there and I watch my freshman and sophomores and I'm in awe of them because that's our jayvee team and they're out there competing."
Kelly, who start four of their 10 freshman on their varsity roster, fought tooth and nail with the Lady Devils throughout. They led 23-20 at the half but fell behind in the third quarter, 29-28, with just seconds remaining. A long-range 3-pointer by Kelly's Tessa Johnson, who ended with a team-leading 11 points, gave the Lady Hawks a 31-29 advantage going into the fourth quarter as well as some much needed momentum.
"We knew going in that we had to shut down Tessa (Johnson) from the outside," Chaffee coach Darrin Pruitt said about that shot. "We didn't do that very well."
Although they found themselves down by two going into the final eight minutes, the Lady Devils bounced back and took a 2-point lead with 5:16 left after Jordan Pruitt came up with a steal and laid it in to give her team a 35-33 advantage.
Kelly's Kristi Brucker tied the game at 35 while Bridgette Chandler gave the Lady Hawks a 37-35 lead with 2:23 left.
Chaffee's Regina Seyer sliced Kelly's lead in half by making 1 of 2 free throws with 2:11 left in regulation, but an offensive putback by Samantha Worth gave the Lady Hawks a 3-point cushion that could not be dented again.
Seyer led Chaffee with nine points. Adrienne Eichhorn and Ellie Sigman each scored seven points.
Kelly moves into the consolation finals by eliminating Chaffee and will play East Prairie in the championship on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
CHAFFEE (36) -- Adrienne Eichhorn 7, Jordan Pruitt 5, Regina Seyer 9, Elizabeth Sexton 3, Dakota Pepple 1, Ellie Sigman 7, Stevie Schrum 4. FG 14 FT 5-19 F 15 (3-pointers: Eichhorn 1, Pruitt 1, Sexton 1. Fouled out: none.)
KELLY (39) -- Tessa Johnson 11, Bridgette Chandler 8, Stephanie Worth 9, Karlie Ashcraft 2, Logan Ivie 6, Kristi Brucker 2, Katie Koonce 1. FG 16 FT 5-9 F 17 (3-pointers: Johnson 2. Fouled out: none.)
CHAFFEE -- Behind 20 points from Machela VanGennip, the Delta Lady Bobcats defeated East Prairie 54-35 during their first round game of the Chaffee Invitational Tournament on Wednesday.
Delta established an early cushion in the first half by going up 10-6 after the first quarter and then 24-10 at the half.
From then on, Delta outscored the Lady Eagles 30-25 in the second half to maintain their lead.
Tori Burton added 12 points for the Lady Bobcats while Macey Parks chipped in 10.
East Prairie was led by Caitlyn Harwell's 17 points, which included three 3-pointers. Rebekah Douglas scored 12 points.
Delta will take on Scott City in the semifinal round tonight at 6 p.m. East Prairie will move to the finals of the consolation championship against Kelly on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. because of a forfeit by Oran, who feature just six players on its roster.
EAST PRAIRIE (35) -- Rebekah Douglas 12, Caitlyn Harwell 17, Briana Strayhorn 1, Ashley Bard 3, Kailey Turner 2. FG 13 FT 5-10 F 9 (3-pointers: Douglas 1, Harwell 3. Fouled out: none.)
DELTA (54) -- Lyndse Hamby 2, Alysha Vessells 6, Machela VanGennip 20, Macey Parks 10, Chastity Taylor 2, Tori Burton 12, Myra Henson 2. FG 23 FT 5-6 F 8 (3-pointers: VanGennip 1, Burton 2. Fouled out: none.)