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Lady Tigers compete in Harrisonville tournament

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Nevada Daily Mail

HARRISONVILLE, Mo. -- The Nevada Lady Tigers varsity basketball squad didn't get off to the best start in the Harrisonville Holiday Tournament, but more than made up for their struggles in the tournament's opening game Tuesday night when they used a 29-13 fourth quarter to lift them to a 68-47 victory over Sherwood.

In the tournament's opening game, Drexel's Lady Bobcats raced to a 13-2 lead over the Lady Tigers in the first minute and a half and never looked back on their way to a 54-49 victory Monday night. Senior Jacklynn Williams scored 11 of her team-leading 17 points in the first half and Drexel led, 30-17, at the halftime.

The Lady Bobcats led, 40-29, after three quarters only to see the Lady Tigers cut the margin to four on a Morgan McNeley trey with 2 minutes left in the game before sealing the win with free throws down the stretch. The loss snapped Nevada's three-game winning streak.

Tori Dahmer had 19 points to lead all scorers in the contest, but it simply wasn't enough as the Lady Tigers fell into the tournament's consolation bracket.

In the first consolation game Tuesday night, head coach Brent Bartlett's took on an opponent in the Sherwood Lady Marksmen who haven't really dazzled anyone offensively all season long as they have averaged less than 40 points per game. That proved to be the Lady Marksmen's downfall Monday, when they lost to Harrisonville by a final score of 55-34 Monday night.

Tuesday night's contest wasn't pretty for either side in the opening half. Though Nevada did pick up the intensity considerably from their lackluster effort against Drexel, many shots that were good, open looks simply wouldn't fall.

The Lady Tigers forced 13 turnovers in the game's first 16 minutes, but were unable to really gain much ground. After eight ties and eight lead changes, the Lady Tigers took a 22-19 lead into the locker room at the break.

Lots of contact that got the crowd very much into the contest was simply let go by officials and that led to a scary moment for the Lady Tigers in the opening period when senior Mackenzie Pritchett went down hard and hit her head on the floor. That didn't seem to have nearly the impact it could have as Pritchett got back into the game just a few minutes later and went on to score a season-best 19 points to lead the Lady Tigers, more than doubling her previous season high of eight.

Play cleaned up noticeably for both sides in the second half, but the turnovers just kept right on coming for Sherwood. By the time all was said and done, Sherwood finished the night with a total of 26 turnovers and simply couldn't keep up with the Lady Tigers down the stretch.

The bottom fell out of the Lady Marksmen's effort when the fire ignited in Pritchett's shooting hand late in the third quarter. With just under 2 1/2 minutes left, Pritchett hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give Nevada what was its biggest lead at the time at 38-30.

From that point on, the Lady Tigers simply couldn't be stopped, winning the fourth quarter by 16 points to take the victory by a final score of 68-47.

Pritchett finished with four treys in the second half in her best offensive effort of the season. Dahmer joined her in double figures, matching her season average of 14 points.

Morgan McNeley also had a double-figure scoring effort with 12 points, while Rilie Good finished with seven blocked shots. Britney Atkin led the Lady Marksmen with 22 points and was joined in double figures by Kristen Searcy with 10.

With Tuesday's win, the Lady Tigers improved to 5-4 on the season and will head back to Harrisonville tonight to play for third place in the tournament at 7 p.m., in the auxiliary gym at Harrisonville High School against either the hosting Lady Wildcats or the Lady Celtics of O'Hara (Kansas City, Mo.).

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