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Lady Cats Take 2nd at Rolla Tourney



Photo by Shari Harris
Karlee Holland hits for three in the championship game of the Rolla holiday tournament.
Submitted by Steven Rissler
First Round
  Licking opened the Rolla Holiday Tournament against the 6-0 North County Lady Raiders and their All-State forward Kamryn Winch. Licking had a fast start, roaring to a 17-4 lead but North County slowed the pace and the first quarter ended 17-6. North County offense came to life for a short stretch in the second quarter, but the Lady Cats answered with a run of their own to lead 36-22 at the break. Licking stretched the lead to 20+ in the third quarter following back-to-back 3s by Kyra Taylor. The fourth quarter was all Lady Cats and Licking would advance to the semi-finals with an impressive 67-34 win. Karlee Holland paced the Lady Cats with 20 points, 5 assists and 4 steals. Abby Moncrief 9 points, 7 rebs, Kiley Ingram 9 points, 6 rebs, 2 blocked shots. Kylie Taylor 7 points, Kyra Taylor 6 points, Lexi Hadix 6 points 4 rebs, Kasey Richards 5 points, Anna Sullins 5 points, 5 rebs. Athena Hood 4 rebs.
  “I wasn’t sure what to expect from North County just seeing them on film. The girls did a nice job on their stud holding her 12 below her average. Our balanced production is hard for teams to deal with right now.” Coach Rissler

Semi-Finals
  Licking faced a familiar face in the semi-finals in Coach Terry Wells and his St. James Lady Tigers. Licking had beaten St. James on Nov. 20, and the Lady Tigers were out for revenge. St. James came out looking to face guard Karlee Holland all over the floor with a bevy of different defenders. She responded by scoring the first 8 points of the game on back-to-back 3s and a tough shot in the paint. It was now Lainy Hadix’s turn. Hadix came in mid-first quarter to hit a jumper, a layup and a deep 3. Hadix and Holland combined for all of Licking’s 15 points and they led 15-9. Holland remained in the zone in the second quarter as she hit two more 3s and Hadix added another 3 to push the Lady Cat lead to 31-19 at halftime. St. James came out of the locker room fired up. They fought and scrapped to cut the lead to 5 late in the third quarter, but foul trouble was catching up with them. A 3-pointer at the buzzer by Hadix pushed the lead back to 8 heading into the fourth quarter. Licking would get going again and push the lead to 18 early in the fourth. Anna Sullins went to work scoring 8 of her 10 points in the fourth quarter to help secure the 58-46 victory over the always tough Lady Tigers. 
  Holland scored 24 points, going 5/6 from the 3pt line. Hadix added a career high 13 points on 5/7 shooting including 3/3 from deep. Anna Sullins scored 10 points on 4/5 shooting to go with 6 rebounds. Athena Hood chipped in 4 points and 4 assists, Kylie Taylor had 3 points and 4 assists, Kiley Ingram 3 points, Lexi Hadix 1 point and 3 rebounds. Abby Moncrief 5 rebounds.
  “We had some execution issues tonight but Lainy and Karlee were hot early and Anna took over late to get us through. Beating St. James twice in a season doesn’t happen very often so I’m happy for that and for the opportunity to play in the championship game.” Coach Rissler

Championship
  Licking faced the host Rolla Lady Bulldogs for the championship on Saturday night. The gym was packed with fans from both teams and made for a great high school basketball environment. The game started at a furious pace as both teams came out running and gunning. Karlee Holland got the girls rolling early with a quick 8 points. Freshman Kylie Taylor showed poise on a big stage by knocking down back-to-back deep treys to give Licking a lead. Rolla would match the scoring and actually held a slight 22-20 lead after the first 8 minutes. In the second quarter Licking struggled with Rolla’s size in the paint combined with timely 3 point shooting by Carli Libhart. Holland would go the length of the floor and score at the buzzer but Licking trailed 39-32 at halftime. The third quarter was a back-and-forth battle from start to finish. Rolla held a 6-point lead with 10 seconds remaining in the quarter. Taylor would get a steal and drive the length of the floor to make a layup and get fouled. The Licking crowd and players celebrated but the trail official waved off the basket and instead called a traveling violation. The momentum took a huge swing back to the Lady Bulldogs and they were able to make clutch free throws down the stretch to win the Championship 67-55. Licking was led by Holland with 20 points on 8/13 shooting and 4 steals and 2 blocked shots. Taylor 9 points and 4 assists, Anna Sullins 7 points and 7 rebounds, Abby Moncrief 7 points, Lexi Hadix 5 points, Kiley Ingram 3 points, Lainy Hadix 2 points, Athena Hood 2 points and 4 rebounds. 
  “Rolla’s mix of size, speed and depth is hard to handle but we were right there heading into the fourth quarter. They were able to make their free throws in the 4th and we weren’t. The crowd was awesome and hopefully prepares our younger kids for big games at the end of the season.” Coach Rissler

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