PARK HILLS – Junior forward Jaesa Brockes compiled 22 points and 16 rebounds, and No. 5 seed Arcadia Valley topped Ste. Genevieve 58-53 in the first round of the Central Christmas Tournament on Tuesday.
Freshman Gracee Smith went 7-of-8 from the line to finish with 11 points, and Katie Whited added 10 more for Arcadia Valley (5-5).
Both teams shot below 30 percent from the field, but the Lady Tigers converted 21-of-28 free throws while advancing to face top seed Central in the semifinals on Thursday.
Ste. Genevieve (5-3) produced a 7-0 run in the third quarter despite having senior star Avery Reed on the bench in foul trouble, and grabbed a 39-36 lead late on a transition layup by Maci Reynolds.
Brockes snapped a 42-42 tie on a putback with 4:45 left in the game, however, and Makayla Moise added another second-chance basket to further fuel a key 9-1 spurt.
Reed totaled 17 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks to pace the Dragons, and netted a putback just as time expired in the first quarter for a 13-9 lead.
Josie Landrum made one of her five assists to Smith for a fast-break layup, and Brockes drilled a pair of 3-pointers to give Arcadia Valley a 24-19 advantage.
Jennifer Humbolt scored on an entry pass and later added two free throws to bring the Dragons within 29-25 at halftime and finish with eight points.
Brockes briefly restored a 36-32 edge on a 3-point play for the Lady Tigers, who also benefited from 10 rebounds by Moise.
Reynolds connected three times from long range in the fourth quarter for Ste. Genevieve, and had 14 points in her return from an injured kneecap.
Each team finished the game with 15 turnovers.
Central 88, Bismarck 15
PARK HILLS – Freshman Addisyn Casey sank four 3-pointers, and Central eased through the first round with an 88-15 victory over Bismarck.
Senior Caitlyn Holmes matched Casey with a game-high 14 points, and secured eight steals while the starting five of the Lady Rebels played less than eight minutes combined.
Central established a 42-2 lead when freshman Kaley Kimball sank a jumper with five minutes remaining until halftime. She was one of 15 players to register points for the top seed.
Skyler Amonette tallied 12 points, and Karissa Belfield opened the contest with back-to-back jumpers while chipping in eight.
The Lady Rebels started 9-of-10 from the field by creating several uncontested layups in transition. Kimmy Wallen, Abby Holmes and Kimball had six points each.
Brooklynn Fitzwater totaled six points with five rebounds, and Ashley Turner scored five points for Bismarck (0-8).
Central (10-1) committed just one turnover on an illegal screen despite going 16 players deep into the roster, and will face Arcadia Valley in the semifinal round on Thursday.
South Iron 40, Fredericktown 31
PARK HILLS – Second-seeded South Iron tightened defensively to surrender only six second-half points, and advanced past Fredericktown 40-31 in another first-round game.
Michaela Ayers scored 12 of her 16 points before intermission – hitting several excellent shots on the run – to help South Iron (8-2) overcome its own struggles.
Ashley Mickan dished to an open Dara Miller inside, then sank her own jumper during an initial 11-4 surge by the Lady Panthers.
Fredericktown (2-7) responded from a timeout with consecutive field goals from Evann Davis, Kayleigh Slinkard and Mallory Mathes spanning less than a minute.
Ayers countered with a layup and runner, but South Iron could never completely pull away as the Lady Blackcats stayed close through halftime.
Callista Francis banked in a 13-footer while drawing contact, and added a tying 3-pointer from the right corner at 21-21 in the second quarter.
Fredericktown misfired on four chances to take the lead, and a basket by Dara Miller instead gave the Lady Panthers a 27-25 edge at the break.
South Iron patiently posted a 13-6 scoring edge over the remaining 16 minutes, and will face Steelville in the second semifinal contest on Thursday.
Mickan had all seven of her team’s points in the fourth quarter, and ended with 12 overall. Her pull-up jumper answered a basket by Mathes that made it 37-31 with 2:56 remaining.
Francis tallied 13 points and nine rebounds, and Mathes scored nine to pace Fredericktown.
Steelville 53, Potosi 31
PARK HILLS – A blistering performance by senior guard Abby Booker in the first half spurred No. 3 seed Steelville past Potosi 53-31 during its Central Christmas Tournament debut.
Steelville (6-2) used a completely different method of attack while outscoring the Lady Trojans 17-8 in the third quarter to extend a 25-16 halftime lead and seize full control.
Abby Booker drained 7-of-10 attempts from 3-point range to tally a game-high 21 points, then did not take a single shot after the intermission.
Freshman Sydney Booker was heavily featured inside during the second half, and ended with 11 points and eight rebounds for the Lady Cardinals.
Faith Bair netted two layups while Abby Booker hit two triples during a 10-0 run that created a 22-7 Steelville edge in the second quarter.
Potosi (4-4) received a momentary spark from junior guard Peyton Blair, who made a midcourt steal and finished back-to-back aggressive layups. She totaled nine points with five rebounds in the first half.
But the Lady Trojans struggled mightily to click with consistency, and waited longer than five minutes to record their first points of the third quarter.
Mackenzie Adams struck twice from beyond the arc down the stretch, and paced Potosi with 10 points while Cameryn Yount chipped in seven.
Hannah Cottrell provided six points, six steals and seven rebounds as Steelville earned a semifinal date against South Iron on Thursday.