FREDERICKTOWN – The Central girls basketball team was relentless Saturday night during the pursuit of a title that eluded its grasp last year.
The Lady Rebels arrived first to nearly every loose ball – including many forced by defensive pressure – during a lopsided first quarter that signaled an inevitable outcome.
Skyler Amonette and Caitlyn Holmes each scored 14 points, and Central unseated defending champion Arcadia Valley 73-35 in the Fredericktown Tournament championship game.
Karissa Belfield provided a huge first half to compile a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Callie Thurston added nine points in the victory.
Central (4-0) capitalized on nine AV turnovers over the first eight minutes, and allowed the Lady Tigers to claim only two rebounds during that span.
Consecutive steals resulted in back-to-back layups, and Belfield made a tremendous diagonal pass to Avery Norris for a 3-point play during an early 17-0 run.
Arcadia Valley (2-1) mostly operated with a younger six-player rotation amid a roster thinned by the departure of a strong graduating class, and was besieged from the opening moments.
Lone senior Makayla Moise had 11 points with six rebounds, and scored on two straight possessions to begin the second quarter once her club trailed 22-4.
But Central showed its range to establish a 35-11 lead when Belfield sank an 18-footer off a rebound and kickout pass from Thurston ahead of a 3-pointer by Amonette.
Amonette finished with eight assists, six rebounds and five steals, and was on pace for a triple double at halftime with the Lady Rebels cruising 41-23.
Holmes added three baskets in the third quarter to share game-high scoring honors despite having three personal fouls over the first 9:10 of the game.
The Lady Rebels entered the fourth quarter with a 59-30 cushion, and soon sang “Happy Birthday” to head coach Josh Mapes after handing him the championship plaque.
Jaesa Brockes earned three separate trips to the line in the second quarter while totaling nine points, and Lia Hodge drained two 3-pointers for Arcadia Valley.
Potosi 63, Naylor 42
FREDERICKTOWN – Mackenzie Adams netted 20 points and Potosi dominated the final 10 minutes of action to defeat Naylor 63-42 in the Fredericktown Tournament third-place game.
Peyton Blair made 5-of-5 free throws and added 16 points among four in double figures for the Lady Trojans (2-1), who posted a 26-8 scoring edge in the fourth quarter.
Adams drilled a 3-pointer to snap a 30-30 tie with 2:32 remaining in the third, then opened the final period with another triple to create a 40-34 margin.
Potosi applied effective full-court pressure to create numerous baskets off turnovers down the stretch.
Cameryn Yount deflected a stolen pass to Blair nearby, and finished a driving assist from Olivia Coleman as three quick passes connected to extend the lead.
Blair caught a pass and made a turn-around shot inside before Coleman sank a 3-pointer that made it 57-40 with 2:44 to play.
Yount finished with 14 points and Coleman had 11 for Potosi.
Callee Pickrell compiled a game-high 24 points for Naylor, which forged a 24-24 tie after trailing 17-10 through one quarter.
Perryville 46, Fredericktown 36
FREDERICKTOWN – Perryville produced a 21-0 scoring run during the first half, and topped tournament host Fredericktown 46-36 in the fifth-place game.
Maci Hotop scored 14 points after connecting four times from beyond the arc, and the Lady Pirates headed into halftime with a 23-11 lead.
Kirstin Jannin and Brooke Buerck each had 10 points in the victory.
Sophomore Mallory Mathes netted a game-high 16 points, and spotted Fredericktown a quick 6-0 advantage on her first three field goals.
Savannah Swan tallied nine points off the bench for the Lady Blackcats (0-3).
North County 45, Farmington 44
DE SOTO, Mo. – North County drained eight 3-pointers, and rallied in the fourth quarter to overtake MAAA rival Farmington 45-44 for third place in the Fountain City Classic.
Freshman Ella Gant provided 14 points for the Lady Raiders (2-2), who trailed 36-30 before responding with a 15-8 scoring edge in the fourth quarter.
Julia Christopher surged with 11 points exclusively in the second half, and equaled Gant with three triples in the game.
Farmington enjoyed a 25-21 lead at intermission, and was paced by senior guard Alyson Tucker with a game-high 20 points. Claire Busse had eight points and Zoe Johns chipped in six.
Kayleigh Winch finished with eight points, and Stephanie Peterson sank a pair of 3-pointers for North County.