Entering last week’s 31st Annual Lady Lion Invitational as the No. 1 seed, Mansfield’s coaching staff and players knew they would have to play at the top of their game in order to win a tournament featuring strong programs like Springfield Catholic, Houston and Dora.
The Lady Lions responded to the challenge with three double-digit wins to claim the championship, which was their second tournament title this year. They won the tournament in Mountain Grove at the end of December and are now 14-4 on the season.
In the finals against Springfield Catholic, eventual tournament MVP Logan Jones set the tone early with eight first quarter points. Lauren Jones added seven points as the Lady Lions were up, 19-12, early.
Mansfield’s defense then held the Lady Irish to just eight points in the second quarter. Logan Jones added another eight points as she scored 16 in the first half to give Mansfield a 31-20 lead at the break. With the same 11-point edge heading into the fourth quarter, the Lady Lions made 9-of-13 free throws down the stretch to seal the 60-40 win.
Logan Jones finished with 28 points; Lauren Jones had 12 points; Madalyn Ivy added seven points; Macie Tate scored five points and Harleigh Hodges had four points.
In the semifinals, they took on a pesky Dora Lady Falcons team that wouldn’t go away late in the game.
Mansfield led by as many as 20 points before Dora made a late run to cut things to near single digits. Fortunately, the Lady Lions overcame their four points in the fourth to win the game, 52-38.
In the first quarter, Ivy’s 3-pointer sealed a late 5-0 run for an 11-4 lead.
Logan Jones extended the run in the second to 7-0 as she ended up with nine points before halftime. Tate had a 3-pointer as the Lady Lions led 23-18 at halftime.
The Lady Lions had an 11-0 run to open the third quarter that was sealed by Haley Tripp’s 3-pointer for a 17-point edge.
With 1:56 left in the third quarter, Dora’s coach finally called a timeout after the Lady Lions scored 20 of the quarter’s 25 points.
The Lady Falcons opened the fourth quarter on a 10-3 run, but could never complete a rally.
Logan Jones led Mansfield with 18 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals; Lauren Jones had eight of her 10 points in the third quarter and tallied five rebounds, three assists and one steal; Tate scored 11 points, one rebound and one steal; Ivy had 11 points, seven rebounds and one assist; Tripp had three points and one steal; while Chloe Lemons had two points and three assists. Hodges didn’t score, but she finished with seven rebounds, four assists, one steal and one block.
In the first round, the Lady Lions had a familiar foe in Summit Conference rival Conway. Mansfield overcame a sluggish start where they trailed by three points at the end of the first quarter and eventually cruised to a 60-29 win.
Their 22-point second quarter was paced by two Tripp 3-pointers. Mansfield made seven 3-poitners in the win. Lauren Jones scored a team-high 13 points; Logan Jones, Hodges and Tripp each had 12 points as Tripp made four 3-pointers; Tate scored five points; while Elly Williams, Ivy and Lemons added two points a piece.
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