Coming back in the second half, the Strafford Lady Indian handed the Monett Lady Cubs a 49-46 loss in an opening round basketball game of the Sarcoxie Tournament on Monday.
"We knew this was going to be a battle and it was," said MHS Coach Derrek Uhl. "I thought the girls played hard but we didn't shoot well again despite having some good looks."
After Anna Flint had given Strafford an early 4-0 lead in the first quarter, the Lady Cubs countered with eight straight points, capped by a basket by Jenny Frazier with 2:40 left in the quarter for an 8-4 lead. Monett led most of the rest of the game.
Entering the second period with a 14-11 lead, the Lady Cubs continued to increase the lead. A trey by Amanda McKinney following a steal by Madison Carlin with 1:05 remaining in the first half gave Monett its biggest lead at 26-17.
Strafford began its comeback, scoring the last four points of the first half and first three points of the second half. The Lady Indians finally went ahead 30-29 with 4:51 left in the third stanza on a Flint basket. The two teams battled back and forth and the quarter ended with the Lady Cubs ahead 38-36 when Hunter Glouse hit a lay-up with five seconds to play.
The lead was short-lived. Lauren Ficat canned a trey for Strafford in the first minute of the last quarter to put the Lady Indians ahead again. The two teams went back and forth. A basket by Monett's Aubrey Lemaster gave the Lady Cubs their last lead at 44-43 with 3:15 left in the game.
Ashley Jackson and Taylor Filley scored baskets for Strafford to give that team a three-point lead. Frazier's lay-up with 44 seconds to go cut the Strafford lead to a point but Filley hit a pair of free throws for the final 49-46 margin. A three-point try to tie the game by the Lady Cubs bounded off the rim at the buzzer.
Frazier led Monett in scoring with 16 points. Other players scoring for Monett were Carlin with 9 points, Lemaster, Glouse and McKinney with 6 points each and Dedre Beckett with 3 points.
Monett, 5-9, will continue tournament play in the consolation round at 5p.m. on Friday against Sarcoxie, a 58-29 loser to Commerce (Okla.) on Monday.