PARK HILLS — The North County Raiders put together an 8-0 run as the Arcadia Valley Tigers struggled to find the basket on their end of the floor at the outset of their semi-final game. The Lady Raiders used the early edge to keep in front, meeting each challenge with a run of their own until time expired with North County on top 55-45.
The game was very physical as the two teams combined to shoot a total of 52 free throws.
North County forced four turnovers in the first three minutes and held Arcadia Valley to 0-4 from the floor during the same time.
The Lady Tigers called time midway through the first quarter, but North County made it 14-0 before Savannah Price scored Arcadia Valley’s first basket with 3:00 left in the quarter.
The early start was all the Lady Raiders needed as they kept a good 10-13 points ahead most of the game to eventually close with a 55-45 win.
Once on the board, the Lady Tigers were able to generate a stronger showing on offense with Price converting a three-point play and Rebecca Buffington scoring four before the break.
The Lady Raiders kept Arcadia Valley’s top scorer Anna Thomas quiet until the fourth quarter. Thomas scored all 11 of her team-high points in the fourth.
The Lady Tigers started a slow-paced comeback in the second quarter and pulled to within seven points at 29-22, but North County scored the last three points of the half.
Arcadia Valley’s performance at the line kept them in the ballgame, going 6-6 in the second quarter, and finishing 18-21 for the game.
The third quarter became a defensive battle as neither offense could generate double-digit numbers. The Lady Raiders scored only two baskets from the floor, but they held the Lady Tigers to only one at the same time.
The Lady Tigers managed again in the fourth quarter to challenge as they scored the first four points, but turnovers prevented a full recovery.
Kourtney Kekec scored four points in the quarter to finish with 11 for North County, and Eaton polished off a 12 point game with another four.
Thomas was able to drive in for two baskets for the Lady Tigers, but a 5-6 showing at the line for Madison Binkard kept the Lady Raiders’ lead sufficient enough that even two late threes by Thomas could not erase it.
North County (13-5) will face Central in the championship game on Saturday, and Arcadia Valley (16-5) will play Potosi for third place.
North County 21 11 7 16 - 55
Arcadia Valley 9 13 5 18 - 45
North County - Emily Eaton 12, Kourtney Kekec 11, Holly Forbes 9, Marianna Falls 6, Madison Binkard 5, Allie Hammack 3, Sydney Parker 3, Martha Peacock 2, Brianna Isgrig 2, Emily Robinson 2. 3-point FG - none (FT: 20-31).