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Lady Cats Three-Peat at Mansfield Tourney


Submitted Photo
Winners of the Mansfield Tournament: front row from left:  Lainy Hadix, Aubrie Stephens, Kylie Taylor,  Athena Hood, Anna Sullins, Karlee Holland. Back row from left: Coach Steven Rissler, Lexi Hadix, Kiley Ingram, Abby Moncrief, Kalee Brazier, Asst. Coach Terri Moncrief, and Rick Mosher.

Submitted by Steven Rissler
  The Licking Lady Wildcats came into the Mansfield Tournament as the heavy favorite and they didn’t disappoint. The girls won the three tournament games by 47, 23 and 21 points respectively to claim their third Mansfield Championship in as many years and their fifth title over the last seven years. The girls will be in the Stephanie Phillips Tournament starting next season in place of the Mansfield tournament.

CHAMPIONSHIP
  Licking faced a familiar face in Coach Gary Greene and his Mansfield Lady Lions. Coach Greene had coached the Licking Lady Wildcats to four district championships, two quarterfinal appearances, five Frisco League tournaments and two Frisco League Championships during his tenure at Licking from 2001 to 2008. Licking had faced the Lady Lions in the championship game last season and won by the score of 55-41. This year Licking and Mansfield both started slow with turnovers and missed shots throughout the first three minutes. Anna Sullins got the party started for Licking with a tough runner in traffic that sparked a mini-run for the Lady ‘Cats, who used defense to win the first quarter 11-4. The Hadix twins wanted in on the fun in the second quarter, as Lexi nailed back to back three’s and Lainy hit a deep three to help push the lead to 30-14 at halftime. Lexi stayed in the zone in the third as she buried two more deep three’s and Karlee Holland hit two deep jumpers to further extend the lead to 48-32. Licking missed out on the opportunity to really spread it out in the fourth by going 3/12 from the line in the quarter and 6/19 from the line for the game. The girls made up for it with not one, not two, but six offensive rebounds off the missed free throws in the fourth quarter. Licking managed to fend off a late run by Mansfield to win by a score of 63-42.
  Licking was led by Lexi Hadix with 14 points, Karlee Holland 13, Abby Moncrief 12, Kiley Ingram 6, Anna Sullins 6, Kylie Taylor 5, Lainy Hadix 5, Athena Hood 2.
  “It was a good test for us facing a decent Mansfield team on their home floor. We have kids contributing in other ways besides just scoring and that’s very important. We are gearing up for districts and need to be tested. We know what we need to tweak, change and work on going forward to reach our ultimate goal.” Coach Rissler

SEMI-FINALS
  The fourth seeded (12-5) Forsyth Lady Panthers defeated Ava in the first round to earn a date with the Lady Wildcats. Forsyth plays a similar style to the Lady Cats by using zone presses and their length to try and create turnovers. Abby Moncrief would continue her emergence as a premier post player in the area by scoring six points in the first to pace the Lady Cats. Licking would lead 17-11 at the end of the first. Karlee Holland got going in transition in the second, scoring seven points of her own to go with three’s from Kylie Taylor and Lexi Hadix to push the halftime lead to 37-17 at the half. The third quarter saw a change in aggressiveness by both teams. Forsyth came out hungry to compete and Licking was in cruise control too early. Forsyth’s 6’1” post player, Scarlett Texeira, dominated inside scoring with 10 points, grabbing several rebounds and blocking multiple shots. Licking saw a 20-point lead shrink to 13 heading into the fourth quarter. Abby Moncrief and Karlee Holland made sure the Lady Panthers wouldn’t get the upset by combining for all 17 points in the quarter. Licking would get the lead to 20+ quickly in the fourth and cruise to a 66-43 victory versus a game opponent. Holland poured in 21 points to go with 8 rebounds and 7 assists. Abby Moncrief added 18 points and 6 rebounds; Kylie Taylor 12 points, 5 rebounds, 9 deflections, and 7 steals; Kiley Ingram 9 points; Lainy Hadix 3 points, 3 rebounds; Lexi Hadix 3 points.
  “We have a tendency to shut it down a little earlier than I would like against capable teams. Forsyth made a run and we answered in the fourth. We need to learn from this and develop that killer instinct. We have been too nice at times and it has hurt us.” Coach Rissler

FIRST ROUND  
  Licking faced the eighth seeded Conway Lady Bears in the opening round. The Bears hit two early threes to take a 6-5 lead, but Licking dominated the rest of the game, leading 22-6 after the first quarter and 37-14 at the half. Licking allowed six points in the second half including none in the fourth quarter. All 10 girls scored for Licking, led by a career-high from frosh Kiley Ingram with 24 points on 12/15 shooting. Karlee Holland added 15 points, 5 assists; Abby Moncrief 6 points; Lexi Hadix 6 points; Kylie Taylor with 5 points, 8 steals, 4 rebounds, 2 blocked shots and 6 assists; Aubrie Stephens 5 points; Anna Sullins 2 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists; Athena Hood 2 points; Lainy Hadix 1 point and Kalee Brazier 1 point.
  “The girls took care of business tonight like they should. Everyone contributed in some fashion.” Coach Rissler
Submitted Photo
Mansfield All Tournament Team, from left: Josie Sullivan-Norwood, Emily Shipman-Forsyth, Jada Henry-Mansfield, Karsyn Brooke-Mansfield, Abby Moncrief-Licking, MVP Karlee Holland-Licking. This is Holland’s third Mansfield Tournament MVP award.

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