After picking up an opening round victory over a quality Spokane squad, the Mountain Grove Lady Panthers were hoping their week in the Norwood Lady Pirates Invitational would end after winning some hardware.
Unfortunately, the Lady Panthers would go on to drop their final two games to place fourth, which was their seed in the annual tournament.
In the third place game against the Mansfield Lady Lions, the Lady Panthers jumped out to a 17-12 lead early in the second quarter.
Raylee Stenzel had five points and Reagan Hoerning had four during the opening frame.
Unfortunately, Mansfield went on a 15-2 run and eventually took a 25-21 lead into halftime.
Early in the third quarter, Mountain Grove had a 7-0 run as Hoerning tied the game at 31-31.
Mansfield responded on two straight Logan Jones baskets and Mountain Grove could not rally as they lost, 46-37.
Both Jozey MacPherson and Stenzel led Mountain Grove with 10 points. Hoerning had nine points, Campbell Welch scored four points and Kaily Wake had two points.
In the semifinals, the Lady Panthers were matched up with a South Central Association (SCA) Conference foe in Salem, who was the No. 1 seed in the tournament.
Mountain Grove stayed close to the Lady Tigers early, but would go on to fall, 61-49.
Stenzel, who was named to the All-Tournament team, led the Lady Panthers with six points in the first half while Addy Welch scored five points.
Trailing by 11 at halftime, the Lady Panthers slipped behind faster after being outscored, 18-8, in the third quarter.
MacPherson had two 3-pointers and Stenzel added six of her own points during a 20-point fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough in the loss.
Stenzel paced Mountain Grove with 15 points. Addy Welch had 11 points, MacPherson had nine points, Campbell Welch scored six points, Hoerning gadded five points while Wake scored four points.
Their lone victory in the tournament came in a shootout with Spokane as the Lady Panthers beat the Lady Owls, 54-48.
Both teams did not mind shooting the ball in this contest.
They combined to make 15-of-53, 3-point attempts. Meanwhile, the teams put up a total of 99 combined shots from the field.
Campbell Welch made two 3-pointers and Hoerning had five points to pace Mountain Grove early to an 18-16 lead.
In the second quarter, Mountain Grove’s offense made just 6-of-19 shots from the field. Salem made just 1-of-5 free throws though and the game was tied at 30-30 entering halftime.
Spokane had a 6-0 run in the third quarter to take a lead.
In the fourth quarter, Hoerning’s big 3-point play put the Lady Panthers up six and Mountain Grove would go on to make big free throws down the stretch to seal the six point win.
Campbell Welch led the Lady Panthers with 12 points, four rebounds, three steals and two assists; Stenzel had 11 points, eight rebounds, two assists and one steal; Hoerning had 10 points, six rebounds, two steals and one assist; Addy Welch had six points, four rebounds and two assists; Wake had four points and seven rebounds; while Destiny Chadwell added two points and one rebound. MacPherson had nine points, three assists, two rebounds and two steals. Mountain Grove made 20-of-54 shots from the field, but just 6-of-30, 3-point attempts.
(Editor’s Correction: In the Dec. 8 issue, Jozey MacPherson’s name and her 22 points as the leading scorer was mistakenly omitted from the article on Mountain Grove’s 83-31 loss. We apologize for the error.)
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