By Coach Steve Rissler
The Lady Wildcats traveled to the Rogersville tournament last week to compete against some of the best teams in southwest Missouri.
Licking drew Webb City in the first round. The ‘Cats were seeded third and Webb sixth. Licking was short-handed due to sickness, missing starters Kylie Taylor and Abbie Sullins, and several reserve players. The first quarter was ugly, to put it nicely. Freshman Zoey Dawson scored 4 points in the opening quarter and that was it for Licking, but Webb only managed 3 points! The scoring picked up some in the second but Licking went 0/8 from the free throw line and only led 16-15 at halftime. Kaida Cook got going in the third, getting 12 of her game-high 14 points. Licking went 10/11 from the free throw line in the third to build a 9-point lead. Licking pulled away in the fourth and advanced, winning 50-33.
Licking was led by Cook with 14 points and 5 rebounds; Hannah Medlock 12 points; Josie Wells 8; Kiley Ingram 4 points, 4 assists and 8 rebounds; Dawson 4 points and 3 steals; Allie Hock 4; Finley Sullins 3; and Linzie Wallace 1 point and 3 assists.
“I was happy how the girls adjusted to not having two major components of our varsity. Kaida did a great job limiting Webb’s 6’5″ girl. Several girls got extended minutes against a COC team so that is a good thing for the future.” – Coach Rissler
Licking faced the number two seed and Class 5 state-ranked Rolla in the semifinals on Thursday. The game started out decent for Licking but turnovers, missed open shots and missed free throws added up. Licking led 12-11 after the first quarter and led most of the second, but two late threes from Madison Mace and a score at the buzzer from Resa Martin stretched the Rolla lead to 9 at the break. The third quarter was close but Rolla took a 43-33 lead after three quarters of play. The fourth quarter saw Licking go cold and Willow Gideon get hot as she swished back-to-back-to-back three pointers to extend the lead to 18. Licking battled but ended up falling 42-58.
Medlock led with 14 points and 5 rebounds. Abbie Sullins added 9 points and 5 boards in limited minutes. Hock had 5, Kinley Keaton 3, Kylie Taylor 3, Finley Sullins 3, Ingram 2, Wallace 2, and Cook 1.
“We needed to be full strength for this quality of an opponent but the girls still battled for 32 minutes. We are starting to understand that against elite competition you can’t have unforced turnovers and empty possessions. Everyone is good and everyone is well coached so one careless turnover early or a missed layup could have a huge impact on the outcome of the game.” – Coach Rissler
Licking faced a legit Class 3 team in the Sparta Lady Trojans. Sickness once again played a part as Taylor and Abbie Sullins were both under the weather. Licking would hang tough in the first quarter, trailing 10-13 after one. Turnovers and empty possessions plagued the Lady ‘Cats the rest of the game. Sparta started to pull away in the third. Hock scored 7 in the quarter to help keep pace, but Licking trailed 32-48 after three. Licking cut the lead to 12 twice but couldn’t get over the hump and fell 57-38 to Sparta.
Hock and Medlock led with 7 points each. Wallace scored 4, Dawson 5, Ingram 3, Halee Clayton 2, Finley Sullins 2 and Keaton 1.
“I wasn’t happy with the execution on offense or defense tonight. I hope it was just one of those games and we have a short memory because no one feels sorry for us. We must be able to execute in the face of adversity.” – Coach Rissler
Junior Cook and Sophomore Medlock were named to the All-Tourney Team.