The Verona Lady Wildcats couldn't sustain an stellar first quarter shooting effort and fell 58-48 to Fordland in the championship game of the Walnut Grove Holiday Tournament.
The Lady Wildcats came out of the locker room on fire, hitting eight of 10 attempts from behind the three-point line. Jenna Chadd was a perfect six of six from beyond the arc, helping Verona build a 28-8 advantage by the end of the period.
"We got off to the start we wanted," said Verona Head Coach Ryan Yates. "I think after the initial shock wore off Fordland settled down and started to use their size advantage inside."
Fordland tightened up on the defensive end in the second and third quarters, outscoring Verona 32-8 over the 16-minute span.
"I think we lost sight of doing the little things correctly," said Yates. "We started forcing shots and not blocking out on rebounds. To Fordland's credit, they hit their free throws down the stretch, and we didn't."
Chadd led the Lady Wildcats in scoring with 23 points. Tristan Carrasquillo finished with 15 points. Jessica Smith tossed in 7 points. Amanda Mullen added 3 points.
"I think we are still improving as a team," added Yates. "We were the smallest school in the tournament and beat some quality schools. I firmly believe we are heading in the right direction."
Verona will travel to Thomas Jefferson on Friday, Jan. 7. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.