Lady Cats Are District Champs--Again

Photo by Shari Harris
The Lady ‘Cats brought home the Class 3 District 2 plaque for 2019 with their win over Mtn. View-Liberty. Front row from left: Tori Porter, Kasey Richards, Kylie Taylor, Anna Sullins, Athena Hood, Karlee Holland, Lainy Hadix, and Mgr. Kimrey Krewson. Back row from left: Asst. Coach Terri Moncrief, Tomi Rose, Bailie Joyner, Aubrie Stephens, Lexi Hadix, Kiley Ingram, Abagail Moncrief, Kyra Taylor, Winter Murray, Rick Mosher, and Coach Steve Rissler. Holland and Moncrief were named to the 2019 All-Class 3 District 2 Girls Basketball Team. Coach Rissler was honored as Co-Coach of the Year.

Submitted by Steven Rissler
  The Licking Lady Wildcats are your 2019 Class 3 District 2 champions. The ladies beat eighth seed Clearwater 63-27 in the opening round, fourth seed Doniphan 54-39 in the semi-finals and second seed Mountain View-Liberty 62-51 in the title game.
  First Round
  Licking faced the overmatched Clearwater girls on Monday in the opening round.  Licking subbed early and often, and cruised to a 43-10 halftime lead. Every girl played good minutes throughout this game and Licking won 63-27.
  Karlee Holland paced Licking with 14 points, followed by Abby Moncrief with 11, Lexi Hadix 9, Kylie Taylor and Lainy Hadix 8 each, Kiley Ingram 6, Tomi Rose, Kasey Richards, and Anna Sullins 2 points apiece, and Athena Hood 1.
  Second Round
  The fourth seeded Doniphan Donettes came to play Thursday night in the semi-final round. The Lady Cats opened the game 1 for 14 from the field, as Doniphan hit 3’s and pounded the ball inside to take a 16-4 lead after the first quarter. Doniphan would score the first basket of the second quarter to go up by 14, but Licking would answer, holding the Donettes to just 2 points the rest of the half while scoring 11 of their own, to trail 20-15 at the half. Licking would open the third with a 3 from Lexi Hadix, and you could feel the momentum swing in favor of the orange and black. As shots began to fall, the defensive intensity also raised. Licking would win the quarter 24-15 to take a 39-35 lead into the fourth quarter. Licking would dominate the final quarter holding Doniphan to just 4 points. Licking won 54-39 and secured a spot in the championship game on Saturday.
  Abby Moncrief scored 18 points and 7 rebounds, Karlee Holland added 14 points, 7 steals and 4 assists. Athena Hood had 8 points, Lexi Hadix 6 points, Kylie Taylor 5 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocked shots, and Anna Sullins 3 points.
Photo by Shari Harris
Karlee Holland was walking on air, along with Anna Sullins, when Holland reached her teammates on the sidelines. Holland had just shot free throws and upped the score to 62-51 with 3.1 seconds to go in the championship game.
  Licking would face the fifth ranked team in the state in the (26-2) Mountain View-Liberty Eagles. Liberty had won 21 straight games and were the SCA champions. Licking started the game with the goal of slowing down the high scoring Lady Eagles by using patient offensive possessions and forcing their role players to take shots. The strategy worked in the first as Licking burned clock and finished with a quality shot. Licking was ahead 16-11 after the first quarter. The second quarter was all Licking. The girls would go on a 15-0 run to push the lead to over 20 points at one point. Karlee Holland would hit four 3’s, Lainy Hadix hit 2 and Kylie Taylor added a deep three to give the Lady ‘Cats a 36-15 lead at halftime. The third quarter was basically even as Liberty tried to cut into the lead, but offensive rebounds and put backs by Kiley Ingram and a three at the buzzer from Anna Sullins extended the lead back to 52-30 with eight minutes to play. Licking ran their Flex offense for the first two minutes of the fourth to burn the clock.  Liberty caught fire in transition behind point guard Kinley Richards’ long distance shooting. Licking would continue to burn the clock using Holland as a one-man delay game. She was able to continually break down the defense and pull it back out at will. Liberty cut the lead to nine late, but two clutch free throws by Kylie Taylor put the lead back to double figures and the rest is now history. 
  Licking won their third class 3 district championship in a row. Holland paced the Lady Wildcats with 23 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists. Kylie Taylor added 7 points and 7 rebounds. Kiley Ingram had 8 points and 5 rebounds. Lainy Hadix added 8 points, Lexi Hadix 6 points, Anna Sullins 5 points, Athena Hood 2 points. Abby Moncrief 2 points, and Tomi Rose 1 point. Licking was 10/21 from the three-point line for the game.
  “This was a huge win for the program. The majority of people outside of Licking had already given Liberty the championship. We really focused on being hard-nosed and mentally tough on the defensive end over the two days prior to the game. The girls came out and executed our game plan perfectly and it showed on the scoreboard.” ~Coach Rissler

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