BONNE TERRE — The second annual North County Girls Tournament concluded its three-day event on Wednesday with the Lady Raiders claiming the top prize with a 69-45 win over the No. 2 seed Meadow Heights Lady Panthers.
North County was seeded No. 1 and received a first-round bye on Monday in the seven team format, followed by a 75-34 win over Lesterville on Tuesday. It was the Lady Raiders first championship with Miller Career winning the inaugural year.
For the first 10 minutes of action, the Lady Panthers gave the Lady Raiders a run for their money, but North County’s exterior shooters honed in their sights and with a suffocating press, the Lady Raiders took total command of the game.
After Meadow Heights had taken 10-6 lead with the first two baskets of the second quarter, Rilea Huff dialed in from downtown for her first three, and seconds later Marissa Bonney added another, and the Lady Raiders held the lead the rest of the way.
North County’s trapping pressure kept the Lady Panthers in check with Meadow heights turning the ball over 35 times. North County also had its troubles with the Lady Panthers also being highly aggressive to force 25 turnovers by the Lady Raiders.
Both teams pushed the ball up the court in an effort to escape their opponent’s pressure. North County’s trips were more rewarding as they were able to score 28 points in the second quarter after having only six in the first quarter.
Huff and Courtney Coulter scored the bulk of North County’s points in quarter two with each scoring seven points, most of which came on fast breaks after a Meadow Heights turnover. Huff led both teams in scoring with 20 points.
The Lady Panthers had trouble scoring whenever in a half-court set as Mikayla Barlow stuffed three of their shot attempts in the game and was also a force on the offensive boards to keep the ball alive for North County. Barlow led the team in rebounds with 11, six of which were on the offensive boards.
North County went to their 6’1” freshman in the second half, with Barlow scoring 11 of her 14 points in the second half. The Lady Raiders also found a friend in the charity stripe in the second half where they scored 20 of their 35 points in the last 16 minutes of play.
Heather Dietiker was 7-8 from the free-throw line to lead the Lady Panthers in scoring with 15 points. Erin Bollmann was next with 14 points for Meadow Heights.
North County will travel to South Iron on Monday for their next game.
North County had four players named to the All-Tourney Team with Huff, Coulter, Brittany Collins and Barlow being selected.
Meadow Heights 6 15 8 16 – 45
North County 6 28 19 16 – 69
Meadow Heights- Heather Dietiker 15, Erin Bollmann 14, Gina Cureton 4, Jillian Mills 4, Taylor Cureton 4, Hattie Cook 3, Mica Morse. 3 ptrs. – Cook.
Perryville 51, West County 48
The Perryville Lady Pirates grabbed the early lead and hung on for dear life as they prevailed over the West County Lady Bulldogs by a score of 51-48 in the tournament’s consolation game.
A third-quarter rally by the Lady Bulldogs pulled them to within two points to start the fourth quarter. The Lady Pirates received a 13 points, first-half from Emily Hanquist, good enough to lead all scorers.
Both teams faltered at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter with both missing four of their attempts. Making only one of five free throws down the stretch, Perryville was able to get to the basket enough in the last frame to stay just ahead of the Lady Bulldogs with their shooting from the floor.
Paige Forshee led West County in scoring with 12 points and Katie Gettinger was next at 11. Gettinger was named to the All-Tournament team at its conclusion.
West County (6-4) will travel to Valle on Monday for a conference game.