PARK HILLS – The championship game is set in the girls bracket of the MAAA Conference Tournament. It will be a rematch between the top two teams from the Large-School division, top-seeded Farmington and No. 2 Fredericktown. Farmington prevailed 50-46 at home on January 6.
The Knightettes rolled past fourth-seeded Potosi in semi-final action on Thursday, while the Lady Cats survived a frantic comeback attempt by No. 3 Valle. The title contest will tip off at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Bob Sechrest, Sr. Fieldhouse in Park Hills.
Farmington 59, Potosi 34
Farmington opened the first of Thursday’s semi-finals with a 9-0 scoring run to set the early tone against Potosi, then let their defense take care of the rest in a steady 59-34 victory.
The Knightettes (17-4) baffled the Lady Trojans to the tune of 19 turnovers overall and just four first-half field goals, contesting nearly every pass and shot in the process.
Farmington found scoring success with a combination of strong interior passing, a fast-break transition attack, and solid jump shooting to notch its ninth win in 10 games. Cassie Tiefenauer hit two three-pointers and scored a game-high 14 points, while Randie Wooldridge added 12 from the post.
A triple from Kristen Hayes began the scoring, and layups from Wooldridge and Tiefenauer following steals continued the Farmington momentum. The Lady Trojans were unable to recover.
Baskets from Ashley Mims and Liz Stewart brought the Lady Trojans to within 12-6 at the end of the first quarter, but Potosi would score just one point over the next 6:30 of action.
A broken full-court press led to a Wooldridge layup which sparked a 15-0 Farmington run. Back-to-back threes by Tiefenauer and Ann Parson extended the margin to 32-7.
Lora Dickey ended the Potosi drought with a jumper and Stewart hit two free throws to make the difference 19 at halftime, but Erin Parks sank two free throws to expand it to 25 points late in the third quarter.
Potosi (17-6) responded with a layup from Emily Morgan and a three-pointer by Mims, but still trailed 43-21 entering the fourth. Mims led her team in scoring with eight points.
Natalie Hooss scored eight of her nine points in short order during the final stanza, including a steal and layup to give Farmington its largest lead of the night at 49-24. Two late scores from Natalie Sago helped push the Knightettes to a 16-10 edge in bench scoring.
Potosi will try to avenge a six-point loss to Valle when the two teams meet in the tournament’s third-place game at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Potosi – 6 5 10 13 – 34
Farmington – 12 20 11 16 – 59
Potosi – A Mims 8, B Chazelle 6, L Dickey 5, T Owens 4, L Stewart 4, J McGirl 3, E Morgan 2, S McGirl 2.
3-pointers – A Mims 2, B Chazelle 2.
Farmington – C Tiefenauer 14, R Wooldridge 12, N Hooss 9, K Hayes 7, E Parks 7, N Sago 4, A Parson 3, T Sucharski 2, C Johnson 1.
3-pointers – C Tiefenauer 2, K Hayes 1, A Parson 1.
Fredericktown 48, Valle 43
The Fredericktown Lady Cats nearly saw a 19-point lead evaporate down the stretch in the second girls semi-final, but managed to hold off the surging Valle Lady Warriors for a 48-43 triumph in a battle of state-ranked teams.
Fredericktown (20-2), ranked second among Class 4 clubs, used a steady diet of entry passes into the low post and stifling defense to build a dominant 35-21 lead after third quarters, but watched the fifth-ranked Lady Warriors from Class 2 rally behind their seniors for a 22-13 scoring edge in the fourth to make things interesting.
A fade-away baseline jumper and a driving layup by senior Kara Schilli propelled Valle (19-1) to an early 6-2 lead, but the remainder of the first half saw nothing go right for the Lady Warriors.
Kylie Boswell tied the game at 8-8 with a nice turn-around jumper in the post, and would make a huge impact throughout the night for the Lady Cats. Betsy Royer put Fredericktown ahead with an offensive putback, and Amy Hendrix wove through the Valle defense for a tough layup to help create a 14-8 margin as the quarter ended.
The Lady Warriors missed all nine of their field goal attempts during the second quarter, where they scored just two points. However, the Lady Cats failed to fully capitalize on their opponents’ shooting woes.
After Boswell opened the stanza with a basket, Fredericktown played six minutes without a basket, but a lob pass to Mallory Bess and a key putback at the buzzer by Deidre Hughes widened the gap to 21-10 at halftime.
The Lady Cats appeared poised for a blowout victory following a 10-0 scoring run in the third. Hendrix capped the streak with a tumbling layup, resulting in a three-point play to made the score 33-14.
Valle made the decision to put the ball in Schilli’s hands from there, and she and her teammates responded.
Schilli drove to the hoop for a three-point play to bring Valle to within 10 early in the final stanza. Fredericktown countered with an entry pass to Michelle Matthews for two points, but the Lady Warriors kept chipping away.
Angie Herzog scored with a putback and Sara Hermann cashed in on a Fredericktown miss with a transition layup with 3:29 left to suddenly trim the deficit to 41-35.
The ensuing three Valle possessions were critical. The Lady Warriors yielded just one point on defense during a two-minute stretch, but committed two turnovers and came up empty at the free-throw line, making up no ground as a result.
After Schilli stole a pass and cut the difference to five, Hendrix found Boswell inside for another key basket to put Fredericktown ahead by seven with 1:00 to go. The persistent Schilli drained a big three-pointer with 24 seconds remaining to make it a four-point game.
Boswell hit two clutch free-throws in response for the Lady Cats, but Herzog banked in a three with 11.7 on the clock as the score stood at 46-43. Matthews finally put the game away for Fredericktown by hitting 1-2 free throws.
Both teams were haunted by turnovers and poor free-throw shooting, which are magnified by the close outcome.
Fredericktown committed 19 turnovers, hit just 8-18 at the line, and was 0-8 from three-point range. Valle was guilty of 21 turnovers while making just 7-19 from the stripe.
Boswell scored a game-high 23 points, while Hendrix chipped in with 10 for the Lady Cats, who have won nine consecutive games.
Schilli finished the night with 21 points and 15 rebounds, while Hermann added 11 points for Valle. The loss snapped a 15-game win streak for Lady Warriors, who have suffered their only two losses of the season against Fredericktown.
Valle – 8 2 11 22 – 43
Fredericktown – 14 7 14 13 – 48
Valle – K Schilli 21, S Hermann 11, Herzog 5, C Tucker 2, K Shuh 2, D Donze 2.
3-pointers – K Schilli 1, A Herzog 1
Fredericktown – K Boswell 23, A Hendrix 10, M Matthews 5, M Bess 4, B Royer 3, D Hughes 2, C Kemp 1.
3-pointers – None.