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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Miller girls claim third place at state

Monday, March 22, 2010

It is done.

Hannah Wilkerson finished her prep basketball career with a flourish, leading the Miller Lady Cardinals past Canton, 78-69, in the Class 2 Girls third place game at the Show-Me Showdown in Columbia on Friday afternoon. Wilkerson torched the nets at Mizzou Arena for 40 points to add to her unparalleled Missouri hoops resumé. Wilkerson is the only girl to score 40 points in two games in the Show-Me Showdown. She broke the two-game record of 72 points easily with her 83-point combo. She broke two-game standards for field goals with 32 and field goal attempts with 71.
Plus, Wilkerson extended her Missouri career scoring record to a dazzling 3,725 points, which also vaulted her into 15th place overall in the national girls career scoring list. For a reference point, she passed Jackie Stiles for 16th with her sectional performance against Osceola and cruised into 15th at Columbia.
The one epochal standard that eluded Wilkerson was the single-season scoring record of Melissa Grider. The Miller ace finished the 2009-10 season with 1,215 points, just 16 shy of the 1,231 mark Grider set in 1989-90 while at Morrisville.
But there was plenty of drama against Canton besides Wilkerson's scoring quest.
Canton opened with a 12-5 lead, but Wilkerson's 8 points led the Lady Cardinals back to a 16-16 tie at quarter's end. The Lady Bulldogs tried to replicate the defensive strategy of Harrisburg in shutting down Wilkerson's supporting cast, but Nicole Adams, Kaitlin Johnson and Jessica Cook all found the net early to help create more opportunities for Miller's scoring machine.
Where Harrisburg kept everyone but Wilkerson off the double-digit list, Canton could not deny Betsy Epps (17 points) and Nicole Adams (10 points). Kaitlin Johnson's 9 points further illustrated Miller's diverse attack which threatened the 80-point plateau.
In the second quarter, senior Betsy Epps nailed back-to-back treys to boost Miller to a 19-16 lead. Wilkerson scored once from the field as her teammates ran wild to give the Lady Cards a 26-19 advantage with 4:51 to play before half.
Canton's Tori Niemann and Jessie Logsdon caught fire and brought the Lady Bulldogs back to trail by only 2 at halftime, 39-37. Wilkerson matched her first quarter total with 8 in the second frame of play.
As the scoring pace slowed in the third quarter, the fouls began to mount on the Canton side of the scoreboard.
"Frustrating," was how Niemann summed up her afternoon of trying to contain Wilkerson.
The Miller team powered to an 8-point lead with 1:56 on the clock, led by Wilkerson's 9 points. Canton's second-leading scorer, Jessie Logsdon, picked up personal fouls #2 and #3 in a 41-second span late in the period.
But Canton scored the last three baskets of the third to cut the Miller lead to 51-49 at the final break.
Logsdon picked up her fourth foul in the first 20 seconds of the fourth quarter, as Wilkerson spun by her. The perfect free throws pushed the lead to 53-49. Wilkerson canned a short jumper, but Niemann's three consecutive scores tied the game at 55-55 with 6:08 to play.
Wilkerson's miss, rebound and stick at the 5:32 point gave Miller a 59-57 lead. Then Logsdon fouled out with 5:00 left, and Wilkerson's free throws gave Miller a 61-58 advantage. Then Kristyn Caldwell's 6-point scoring spree propelled Canton into a 64-62 lead with 3:32 remaining.
The Hannah Show was due. Wilkerson scored twice from the field, fed Epps for a layup and blocked a shot, and Miller regained the lead at 68-64 as the clock reached 2:00. A pair of Nicole Adams free throws, and a pair of assists from Wilkerson to Epps doomed the Canton comeback.
Niemann joined Logsdon on the Canton bench with her fifth foul at 1:51, and Epps and Adams closed out the scoring for Miller as the Lady Cardinals captured the Class 2 third place award with the 78-69 final.

Miller scorers: Hannah Wilkerson 40; Betsy Epps 17; Nicole Adams 10; Kaitlin Johnson 9; and Jessica Cook 2.

Canton scorers: Tori Niemann 27; Jessie Logsdon 18; Kristyn Caldwell 14; Katie Shuman 5; Alex McKenzie 3; Aron Taylor 2.

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