Only Brett Favre has more purple-clad followers than the Verona Lady Wildcats.
|With an impressive contingent of rabid fans filling the stands at Bolivar, the Verona Lady Wildcats bested the Humansville Lady Tigers, 64-54, in their Class 1 Regional game on Tuesday night. Tristan Carrasquillo and Jenna Chadd scored 24 points each for Verona in a game where the Lady Wildcats led from wire to wire.|
|After losing in the sectional round to Exeter last year in a 52-35 rout, the Humansville girls thought they had a better chance this year against Verona. The core of their 2009 district championship team returned, with more experience and game savvy.|
Be careful what you wish for.
|Carrasquillo put on a first-quarter shooting exhibition for the ages in leading Verona to a quick 12-2 lead. Carrasquillo knocked down four treys in the opening 4:11 of the game before the Humansville bench could call a timeout.|
|Jessica Smith finally opened another line on the Verona scoring chart with her right-wing jumper at the 3:19 mark and the lead grew to 14-2. The Lady Tigers restored some order to the game, finishing the quarter with a 5-0 run, and Verona's lead was only 14-7 at the first break.|
|The Lady Wildcats ran wild in the second period. The superior speed and quickness of Verona was evident as they rolled to an 18-point lead with 3:21 to play before halftime. Sophomore guard Jenna Chadd scored 10 in the second period alone after Carrasquillo cooled off. Verona led by a comfortable 35-20 at halftime.|
|But Humansville was not ready to concede their season just yet. The Lady Tigers opened the third quarter with an 11-3 run and chopped the lead down to a mere 7 points. Ryan Yates took a timeout for Verona, and the play call set up Chadd for a spot up trey on the right side. She singed the twine to end the Humansville run, and the Lady Wildcats had another double-digit lead.|
|The Lady Tigers found some late success inside, isolating Becky Stafford against the smaller Jori Dodson. With both Smith and Carrasquillo on the brink of foul trouble, Yates could not risk doubling down on Humansville's center, and Dodson was left to sink or swim in the paint. She eventually fouled out but not until the 2:22 mark of the fourth quarter.|
|Although Humansville kept it interesting by dominating the boards in the second half, the lead would never fall below 8 after Chadd's delivery. Carrasquillo drove through the lane and lifted in a shot from point blank range to give Verona a 48-37 lead with 1:08 on the clock, and then Humansville's Arianne Henry hit a trey from the left corner for the final points of the period. Verona owned a 48-40 lead at the final break.|
|In a frantic fourth quarter, Verona scored 12 of their 16 points from the free-throw line. Chadd, Smith and Carrasquillo all hit four freebies each, and Beth Bigham and Dodson scored from the field. Five girls scored for Humansville in the final period but only to the tune of 14 points.|
"The girls battled a good team again tonight," said Coach Yates. "They fought hard and got the win."
|The Verona Lady Wildcats (24-5) walked off the court at Southwest Baptist University with a 64-54 win and will face undefeated powerhouse Montrose (28-0) at 1 p.m. on Saturday at State Fair Community College in Sedalia.|
Verona scorers: Tristan Carrasquillo 24; Jenna Chadd 24; Jessica Smith 9; Jori Dodson 4; and Beth Bigham 3.
Carrasquillo was the team's rebounds leader with seven while Smith had the most assists with five. Carrasquillo and Dodson tallied two steals each.
|Humansville scorers; Arianne Henry 23; Becky Stafford 18; Maggie Johnston 5; Kellie Bays 3; Lyndie Routh 3; and Kayla Bays 2.|