PARK HILLS – Sydni Basler and Kaydi Heil were able to accomplish on Wednesday what 12 previous senior classes at Valle Catholic could not.
A tremendous start bestowed the Lady Warriors a golden opportunity to defeat cross-town rival Ste. Genevieve for the first time since 2005.
Basler was perfect on eight free throws in the closing minutes, and Valle Catholic withstood a late surge by the Dragons to prevail 61-58 in the quarterfinal round of the MAAA Tournament.
The result marked the first prominent seeding upset in the girls’ bracket with the No. 6 Lady Warriors advancing to challenge Farmington in Thursday’s semifinals.
Basler recorded 22 points, nine rebounds and four assists, and drilled a smooth fading jumper to briefly interrupt a steady comeback bid by the third-seeded Dragons in the fourth quarter.
Ste. Genevieve used full-court pressure to create a flurry of turnovers and earned some key offensive rebounds as both teams crashed the glass with ferocity throughout the game.
Maci Reynolds slashed for a layup and two free throws on consecutive possessions, and fellow freshman Sydney Bumgardaner added a putback to make the margin 57-52 with one minute to play.
Basler restored a nine-point lead by converting from the line, and Heil added a key steal before a time ran out on a closing 6-0 Ste. Genevieve spurt.
Freshman forward Hannah Fowler provided strong work inside with 12 points and 16 rebounds, and Heil netted 10 points as Valle Catholic (10-11) ended a 27-game losing skid head to head.
Reynolds shined with 18 points and eight steals for Ste. Genevieve (13-6), which could not fully catch up after beginning with a 0-for-9 slump from the field.
Senior teammate Avery Reed totaled 14 points with 14 rebounds despite missing a key stretch of about six minutes after receiving contact to the face in the third quarter.
Rachel Loida nailed a jumper to push Valle Catholic ahead 14-3. Basler caught her own inbounds pass off an unsuspecting defender, and scored from the baseline to make the margin 18-9.
Heil followed a Basler 3-pointer with one of her own as the lead peaked at 28-14. Reynolds made a steal and layup before Reed hit a third-chance shot, but the Dragons still trailed 30-19 at halftime.
Ste. Genevieve teased several rallies down the stretch. A triple from Matti Helms and jumper by Jennifer Humbolt trimmed the deficit to 38-30.
But the Lady Warriors seemingly had a counter each time. Broken pressure resulted in a Fowler layup, and Basler caught an outlet pass on the run for another high-percentage shot.
Bumgardaner netted a 3-point play to pull Ste. Genevieve within 44-37 as the fourth quarter began. Valle answered with a 7-0 run, capped by another Basler three.
Bumgardaner had nine points with 12 rebounds, and Humbolt ended with eight points and 10 rebounds in the loss.
Farmington 71, West County 46
PARK HILLS – The Farmington guards were difficult for West County to contain whether operating off the dribble or in transition on Wednesday evening.
Alyson Tucker compiled a double-double with 18 points and 10 assists while producing five steals as the Knights earned a 71-46 victory in the MAAA tournament girls quarterfinal round.
Macey Pauls also tallied 18 points along with four assists for Farmington (12-7), including a 3-pointer and dazzling reverse layup to create a 57-38 cushion in the fourth quarter.
The second-seeded Knights will meet Valle Catholic in the second semifinal contest on Thursday after shooting a remarkable 81 percent from the field during the second half to pull away.
Alyssa Roever scored 12 points on four shots from beyond the arc, and freshman Dori McRaven totaled 11 points with seven rebounds for West County (16-7).
The Lady Bulldogs stayed within 42-32 following back-to-back threes by Roever and Ivy Meinershagen, but were then dominated over the last 10 minutes.
Farmington applied effective pressure to generate three straight steals, and junior Kaylee Wooldridge finished two layups ahead of the pack.
Tucker split two defenders moments later for an athletic finish through contact, and the Knights carried a 50-34 lead into the final period.
McRaven opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer to bring West County within 14-13, and a quick steal presented a lone chance to take the lead after the Knights had initially jumped ahead 9-2.
Pauls swung momentum back to Farmington with a fast-break layup, and two baskets in the post from Zoe Johns followed to restore a seven-point difference
Cheyenne Young hit a turnaround shot in the lane for the Lady Bulldogs, but Tucker spotted Emily Greif for a 3-pointer just ahead of the halftime buzzer to make it 27-19.
Three players from each side contributed to an entertaining exchange of seven combined 3-pointers in the third quarter.
Johns tallied nine points while Greif and Wooldridge added eight apiece for Farmington.
Young finished with eight points and nine rebounds, and Allee Drennen scored seven for West County.
Valley 87, Bismarck 34
FARMINGTON – Lexie Black continued her pursuit toward the career scoring record at Valley by pouring in a career-high 41 points, including 28 by halftime on Wednesday.
The senior guard drained six 3-pointers, and the Lady Vikings sank 11 as team while rolling past Bismarck 87-34 in the MAAA tournament consolation round.
Emma Rosener notched 20 points and Madison Lucas tallied 18 as Valley (13-10) advanced to Saturday’s ninth-place game against Fredericktown.
Liz Morris chipped in eight points, and the Lady Vikings surged to a 61-12 advantage at the break.
Ashley Turner had 12 points and Brooklynn Fitzwater finished with 11 for Bismarck (0-20).
Fredericktown 73, Kingston 32
FARMINGTON – Callista Francis scored a game-high 23 points, and Fredericktown repeatedly turned steals and rebounds into transition baskets to defeat Kingston 73-32.
Maddie Burrows finished with 18 points and Mattie Whitworth had a season-high 16 as the Lady Blackcats built a healthy 39-15 lead at halftime.
Fredericktown (4-16) advanced to face Valley in the consolation final on Saturday despite having its usual roster depleted to seven available players due to illness.
Kingston (2-17), which has canceled school for the remainder of the week based on a flu outbreak, was paced by Makenzey Boyer with 16 points.