8th Grade girls top Houston

Coach Jennifer Smith

After a long Thanksgiving break, Tuesday, Dec. 2, the Junior High Lady ‘Cats traveled to Houston to take on the Lady Tigers. The ‘Cats had revenge on their minds after losing to the Tigers in the first round of tournament play just two weeks earlier.
Energy was high and adrenaline was flowing from the tip-off. Houston controlled the tip, but defensive pressure from Ryleigh Barton stopped the Tiger attack, and with help from Riley Moloney, the ‘Cats caused the first turnover of the night, giving Licking control of the ball. An offensive attack by Hannah Medlock put her on the free throw line for the first point of the game. Licking was able to hold the Tigers scoreless their first three trips down the floor before picking up their first two points. Lady ‘Cats quickly moved the ball down the floor where Makenna Skidmore took the ball strong to the hole, ending up on the free throw line and tying the game. Defense stepped up again when Finley Sullins got a steal, taking it coast to coast for two points of her own. Skidmore added another free throw, but from that point the offense went dry. Thankfully the ‘Cats defense kept the first quarter close. 
The second quarter was more of the same for both squads, as rebounding, steals, and fast break attempts kept the score close at half-time, 18-17 Lady ‘Cats.
The second half was more of the same, with both the Wildcats and Tigers pushing their limits, keeping the score close throughout. Jamie Fike came in, helping defensively and picking up much needed rebounds to keep possession, and Gracie Berriault held her own defensively. In the last three minutes, Allie Hock, Kinley Keaton, and Linzie Wallace came off the bench to help control the ball and add additional defensive pressure on the Tigers. Lady ‘Cats were able to hold on for the win, 37-31.
One week earlier, on Monday, Nov. 25, the Lady ‘Cats traveled to Rolla to face the Lady Bulldogs. The ‘Cats again were back and forth with the Bulldogs in a close fought battle. The first half had the Wildcats on top 21-17, but the Bulldogs fought back to take the lead at the end of the third, 31-26. The young ladies didn’t give up as they fought hard and went ahead at one point in the final quarter. With a loss of steam and a few miscues defensively by Licking, the Bulldogs pulled out the win 36-32.

The Licking Lady ‘Cats have four games left in their season, with one final home game. Come catch the action on Friday, Dec. 13, when they face the Ava Bears in the FEMA.



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