By Don Chipman
Upsets were the rule rather than the exception at the 2013 Lady Tiger Classic. It began when South Fulton (#5) upset previously unbeaten Havana (#1) 48-44 in the semifinals, and continued when Illini West (#3) defeated Canton (#2) in a minor upset. South Fulton continued their run with a win over Pleasant Plains (#4). In other upsets Lewistown (#10) upended Macomb (#7) 70-49, and Mendon Unity (#11) also knocked off the Lady Bombers of Macomb 55-49. Other upsets were by Triopia (#12) over Illini Central (#11), while Beardstown (#24) knocking off Griggsville-Perry (#21).
Although the individual talent may have been down somewhat, there were lot of underclassmen and freshman playing in the 2013 LTC which bodes extremely well for a very good tournament in 2014.
Loser’s Play-In Bracket
The BHS Lady Tigers fell victim to Liberty 51-35 in the Loser’s Play-In Bracket contest, after defeating Griggsville-Perry to gain the title match. Lefringhouse with 12, which included three treys, led the Lady Eagles, while Lady Tiger Aileana Rawlins was top gun with 18 points.
Liberty got out of the gate with a fast 15-7 breakout, and added a 14-6 difference in the second stanza to lead 29-13 at the midway strop.
After the intermission, the Lady Tigers regrouped and lost the third stanza by only 13-11, and took the final frame 11-9 to play the Lady Eagles to a 22-22 standoff in the second half, but still came up on the short end of the 51-35 final verdict.
Scoring: Aileana Rawlins 18, Franny Zepeda 2, Loraina Trujillo 2, Maddie Fox 5, Summer Lindsey 9.
Consolation Loser’s Bracket
The Lady Trojans (2-3) earned a berth in the Consolation Loser’s Bracket by defeating Illini Central 35-32 before falling to Mendon Unity 39-28 in the Consolation Loser’s Bracket championship. Lady Mustang Kuhn led all scorers with 18 while Triopia’s Lauren O’Danniell led the Lady Blue with 11.
Mendon Unity took command in the opening frame with a 16-5 run out; using the fast break offense which led to the midway break lead of 24-17, with the Trojans taking the second frame 12-8. The two teams struggled offensively in the third stanza with MU holding a slim 8-6 margin sending them into the final quarter leading 32-23. MU also won the final period 7-5 to post the 39-38 final.
Triopia was without the services of Kendi Sayre due to an injury and Bailey Ganz fouled out in the first minute of the third period, hurting the Lady Blue’s chances of any comeback.
Scoring: Triopia-Megan Lynn 2, O’Daniell 11, Mackenzie Miller 6, Cydney Musch 9.
Brown County knocked off Farmington 46-40 in the Consolation Play-In Bracket, led by Vanessa Markert’s 16-point effort. The Lady Farmers were paced by Hannah Jostes with 13.
Farmington took the opening frame by a 17-12 margin, and held a low scoring 7-4 second stanza advantage to lead at the intermission 24-16.
The Lady Hornets came out of the dressing room smokin’ as they used a 19-5 blitz to take the lead after three quarters of action 35-29. The final frame was a standoff as both teams put 11 points in the books, with Brown County walking off the floor the 46-40 victors.
Scoring: Brown County-Grainger 4, Kitchell 14, Burgett 2, Yingling 1, Buss 4, Bowen 2, Vanessa Markert 16.
The No. 17 seed Abingdon faced off against the No. 14 seed West Hancock with the Lady Tornadoes winning a thriller 55-53, fending off a furious West Hancock fourth quarter rally.
The game’s top scorer went to the Abingdon’s Loren Thurman who scored a game high 25 points, while West Hancock was led by Allison Dewald’s 18 point effort.
West Hancock ran out to a 15-7 margin after eight minutes of action, with Abingdon Lady Tornadoes blowing by the Lady Titans 20-8 in the second period, to post a 27-23 halftime spread.
Abingdon kept up the pressure in the third stanza with an 11-8 advantage to hold a 38-31 lead heading home. The Lady Titans made it interesting in the final get-go as they put on a late rally outscoring Abingdon 22-17, coming up just short in the 55-53 loss.
Shelby Koehler chipped in with 11 points for losing West Hancock, while Cudd tossed in 11 points for the winners.
Scoring: Abingdon-Combs 4, Stipp 7, Thurman 25, Talbert 6, Cudd 11, Postin 2.
Fifth Place Trophy
West Central overcame an early 16-4 deficit after one period with a come-from-behind rally in the final period to post an exciting 52-45 win over Pleasant Plains to capture the fifth place trophy. Top gun in this contest was Abby Lashmett for the Lady Cougars with 19, while the Lady Cardinals Amber Clouser tossed in 16 in a losing role.
Pleasant Plains hit the Lady Cougars with a lightning-like blitz, running off and hiding with a 16-4 spread after one period. West Central to their credit did not panic, and fought back a step at a time, winning the second stanza 14-8 to trail 24-18 at the rest stop.
The Silver and Black continued to peck away at the Lady Cardinals lead winning the third frame 12-9 to trail only 33-30 heading into the final fling. A spirited fourth quarter had the Lady Cougars on the prowl as they blasted Plains with a blistering 22-12 margin to win going away by a 52-45 final to fiish the strong comeback bid.
Meghan Lashmett added 11 points, and Kayla Moore was also in double digits for the winners, while Emily Yakel contributed 13 points in the losing cause for Pleasant Plains.
Scoring: West Central—Jessica Hurrelbrink 8, Rock 4, Meghan Lashmett 11, Abby Lashmett 19, Kayla Moore 10.
Third Place Trophy
In the battle for the third place trophy, the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds squared off with Canton, topping the Lady Ducks by a 75-69 final. Cloe Church led all scorers in the contest with a 25-point outburst, while Havana’s Jordyn Hughes tossed in 19 in the losing effort.
You needed your shoe strings laced up tight in this one as both teams ran up and down the floor with abandonment, with the first period a back-and-forth battle with the Canton Lady Giants holding a 20-19 edge. The second stanza was a mirror of the opening frame as the two teams continued to go toe-to-toe with Canton using a 25-13 breakaway to lead Havana 45-32 at intermission.
Most fans knew that Jerry Wilson’s club would adjust at the midway break and that they did with a 20-15 advantage led by Hughes’ six-point effort cutting the margin to single digits to trail the Lady Giants 60-52.
In the final get-go the Lady Ducks had no answer for Cloe Churchill as she single-handily carried Canton on her back with a 10-point fourth quarter and the third place trophy.
Scoring: Havana—Tori Specketer 2, Reagan Witherall 6, Lakyn
Wagoner 6, Specketer 3, Jordan Hughes 19, Emily Bonnett 6, Katie Boyce 12, Session 6, Samantha Sarnes 9.
The championship contest was never in doubt from the opening tip to the final horn as Illini West won their third LTC title with a resounding 44-28 win over South Fulton. The Lady Chargers got double figure scoring from Michaela Grunewald’s 16, and Graci Bastert (LTC/MVP) 13. Sommer Burgard scored 15 points for the Lady Rebels of South Fulton.
South Fulton was able to stay with the Lady Chargers in the opening frame and was down only four at 11-7 after the first eight minutes. Illini West’s quickness took its toll as they rolled up a 14-5 difference in the second stanza to lead comfortably at halftime 25-12.
South Fulton regrouped at the rest stop and Carl Beebe’s squad came out with fire in their eye, and behind Burgard’s six points closed the gap to within three at 26-23 with an 11-1 blitz of the Lady Chargers.
However Illini West withstood the charge as Gronewald and Bastert (5-for-5 from the line) took command in the final frame and used an 18-5 runout to coast home with the LTC championship by a 44-28 final. Neither team was exactly solid from the line as Illini West canned only 14-of-26, while the Lady Rebels converted on only 10-of-19 charity tosses.
Illini West 11 14 1 18—44
So. Fulton 7 5 11 5—28
Scoring: South Fulton—Perry 3, Crouse 2, Krukewitt 4, Schaffer 2, Lascelles 2, Burgard 15. Totals: 9 0 10-19 28. Illini West—Trout 4, Bastert 13, Carlisle 2, Finch 3, Gronewald 16. Totals: 12 2 14-26 44.
3-Point Goals: SF 0; IW 2 (Bastert 1, Trout 1)
Free Throws Made: DF 190-19; IW 14-26
Team Fouls: SF 24; IW 18
Record: Illini West 12-2; South Fulton 11-4.