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PARK HILLS – Despite being seeded directly above quarterfinal opponent North County in the MAAA girls tournament field, Arcadia Valley performed like a team with something to prove.

The Lady Tigers have found a higher level of consistency since being soundly defeated 58-39 by the Lady Raiders three weeks ago, and chalked up their seventh consecutive win on Monday.

Arcadia Valley enjoyed a dominant third quarter in the rematch, and avenged that most recent 19-point setback by taking down reigning champion North County 60-53.

Freshman guard Gracee Smith scored a game-high 20 points, including eight during a pivotal 14-2 spurt that turned a 30-29 halftime deficit into a 43-32 lead.

Josie Landrum totaled 17 points with eight rebounds, and Katie Whited produced nine assists as Arcadia Valley (13-8) advanced to face top seed Central on Thursday.

Freshman Ella Gant equaled Landrum with four 3-pointers during the first half, and netted 16 points for North County (11-10) while forward Kayleigh Winch had 14 points plus six rebounds.

Winch scored a putback after Stephanie Peterson connected from the left corner, and Michaela Mason followed another miss for the go-ahead basket heading into the break.

Smith sparked AV by calmly drilling consecutive triples, however, and split two defenders on a slashing layup moments later. Two free throws by Whited made the margin 43-32.

The Lady Raiders cooled off from the perimeter, and suffered costly miscues while struggling to connect on passes to Winch after committing only two first-half turnovers.

Landrum saved an offensive rebound to a teammate along the baseline, then secured the subsequent miss for a third-chance basket just before the third quarter expired to restore a 49-39 lead.

Arcadia Valley operated under a more deliberate pace while trying to remain in front, but watched the Lady Raiders mount a comeback threat down the stretch.

Winch cashed in a conventional 3-point play on a second shot, and Peterson swished a triple with 1:57 left as the difference shrunk to 54-51.

North County would miss a mid-range jumper after getting a needed defensive stop, and Smith gave Arcadia Valley some breathing room on a perfect trip to the line with 46 seconds to play.

Makayla Moise – the lone senior starter for either club – tacked on four more free throws to complete her double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Jaesa Brockes finished with eight points and eight rebounds, and opened the game with a 3-pointer for the Lady Tigers before two Gant triples ignited a 9-0 North County response.

Two field goals by Winch extended the lead to 15-9, but Landrum sank a running three at the buzzer for the Lady Tigers, who soon built a 24-18 cushion in the second quarter.

Alyssa Huber made four assists, and Mason pulled away six rebounds for the Lady Raiders, who will play Potosi on Friday in the fifth-place bracket.

Central 60, Potosi 16

PARK HILLS – Another showcase of smothering defense on Monday exhibited why Central has cemented its status as the prohibitive favorite in the girls bracket of the MAAA Tournament.

The top-seeded Lady Rebels limited Potosi to four made field goals – including a drought that spanned nearly 11 minutes of the first half – and notched their 14th consecutive win.

Skyler Amonette tallied 13 points plus three steals, and Caitlyn Holmes scored 12 points before turning things over to the bench in a 60-16 quarterfinal rout.

Freshman Sophia Horton chipped in nine points with seven rebounds, and opened the contest with a putback as 13 different Central players marked the scoring column.

The Lady Rebels (20-1) clinched their fifth consecutive 20-win campaign, and will face Arcadia Valley in the semifinal round on Thursday.

Disruptive pressure near midcourt created nine Potosi turnovers in the first quarter. Holmes knocked down a 16-footer off an Amonette steal, then capped a quick start with a transition layup.

Karissa Belfield and Callie Thurston added jumpers as the margin reached 18-2, and sophomore Avery Norris finished a drive to make it 24-3 in the second quarter.

Potosi was already without the services of starting guard Jayleen Like due to an ankle injury suffered following a first-round victory over Valley on Saturday.

Senior standout Mackenzie Adams crumpled to the floor and was holding her left knee after falling in the first quarter, but returned to drill a pair of 3-point shots before halftime.

But Central carried a 33-10 advantage at intermission after Amonette nailed a triple of her own at the buzzer, and poured on a 15-0 run covering the first six minutes of the third quarter.

Aubree Eaton capped the stanza with a driving layup for a 50-13 separation. Teammates Abby Holmes, Kaley Kimball, Hailee Coleman and Hannah Coleman added baskets from there.

Adams finished with nine points, and was the sole owner of a made field goal for Potosi (9-11) until Madison Smith connected from the perimeter with 1:31 left in the game.

Olivia Coleman had three steals, and matched Cameryn Yount with five rebounds for the Lady Trojans.

Matt King is the sports editor for the Daily Journal. Contact him at


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