When you get down to the simple nuts and bolts of basketball, the team that makes the most baskets wins.
It was not one of those nights by a long shot for the Smith-Cotton Lady Tigers Thursday night. Making less than 20 percent of their shots from the floor, the Lady Tigers lost 47-34 to the Springfield Parkview Lady Vikings in the first round of the Smith-Cotton Lady Tiger McDonald’s Classic.
“We have got to finish our shots,” said Lady Tiger Coach Zach Vandevender, whose team fell to 8-8. “We didn’t shoot the ball well at all tonight.”
In a contest between what seemed to be two evenly-matched teams, S-C took a 2-0 lead on two free throws by Elena Sharp.
Halfway through the first quarter, Parkview senior guard Kianna McDaniel made a steal and turned ii into a layup to tie the game at 2-2.
Both teams were missing shots at a record pace and turning the ball over numerous times.
Two more free throws by Sharp and a 15-foort jumper from the left wing by Jac Greer gave S-C a 6-2 lead.
Parkview slowly crept back into the game, tying it at 8-8 after the first quarter, with 6-foot-1 Aubrey Buckley scoring three of her game-high 23 points in the final four minutes of the opening quarter.
Baskets by Sharp and Greer gave S-C a 12-8 lead early in the second quarter.
Buckley went on a tear, scoring 14 of Parkview’s 19 points in the second quarter.
“We had a game plan, to key on the big girl (Buckley),” said Vandevender. “I think we did a good job on her.”
Buckley had a three-point play and a trey in her 14-point spree in the second quarter. She finished the night with three conventional three-point plays, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots.
According to S-C Assistant Coach Bill Barton, Buckley is already receiving notice from several NCAA Div. I schools despite being a junior. Barton said Buckley’s ability to play both outside and inside make her a valued prospect for several colleges.
Parkview held the ice-cold shooting Lady Tigers to just six points in the second quarter and 14 points in the first half and took a 27-14 lead into the locker room at the half.
“How many close, easy shots did we miss,” Vandevender said almost pleadingly.
For one, the Lady Tigers missed six, breakaway, all alone layups.
S-C failed to score on their last 11 possessions of the first half Leading 14-11 at that point, the Lady Tigers saw Parkview close the half on a 16-0 run.
It wasn’t that the Lady Tigers weren’t getting good shots. It seemed like the basket had a lid on it. Things got worse in the second half when Parkview went to a full-court press as S-C turned the ball over numerous times.
“The press bothered us,” said Vandevender. “We started rushing our shots. We play better at a slower pace. We have to work on executing our offense.”
Parkview, the two-time defending tournament champions, led by as many as 19 points at 35-16 in the third quarter. S-C cut it to nine at 37-28 on a bucket by Sharp late in the third quarter. It never got any closer as the Lady Vikings led 37-26 at the end of the third quarter.
The Lady Tigers got no closer than 11 points in the final quarter.
Sharp led S-C with 17 points.
Parkview, 7-6, advanced to Friday’s semifinals to take on third-ranked Nixa, a 75-18 winner over Kansas City Southwest EEC in Thursday night’s first game.
In Thursday night’s two late games, Hickman blasted Bishop Ward 66-21 and the Rolla Lady Bulldogs edged the Kansas City Center Lady Yellowjackets 60-56.
On Friday, S-C took on Southwest and Bishop Ward met Center in consolation-bracket games. In semifinal action, Nixa took on Parkview and Hickman met Rolla. Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia News Journal.