"I was concerned that we might be a little rusty for this game," said Monett Head Coach Derrek Uhl. "I really feel like there is more pressure on a team to win the semi-finals game than in the championship match. Our girls responded well tonight."
Monett jumped out to a 17-11 lead at the end of the first quarter, consistently beating the Reeds Spring press down the court for easy looks at the basket.
"It's been a while since we faced a team that wanted to pressure us full court," said Uhl. "We did get sped up a little and forced a few passes, but we handled it all right. Madison Carlin did a good job of shutting down their top scorer."
The Lady Cubs extended their lead in the second period, outscoring the Lady Wolves 15-13 in the frame to take a 32-24 advantage into intermission.
"Coach told us to keep working hard and playing good defense," said Monett's Hunter Glouse. "I was a little nervous to start the game, but once I got into the flow, I settled down and things started to become easy."
Reeds Spring would trim the Lady Cubs' advantage to 43-36 on a 3-pointer at the buzzer to conclude the third stanza but could not get any closer.
Monett outpaced Reeds Spring 18-7 in the final frame.
Monett forced 22 turnovers and collected 32 total rebounds on the evening.
"Hunter (Glouse) and Jenny (Frazier) did a good job of playing some hardnosed defense," said Uhl. "They put themselves in great positions to rebound the ball. We'll need them to do that again on Saturday."
"We have to play hard and physical," said Frazier. "A win in the championship game would mean a lot for us seniors."
Glouse led Monett in scoring with 24 points. Also scoring for Monett were: Carlin, 13 points; Frazier, 10 points; Dedre Beckett, 7 points; Danielle Neill, 5 points; and Amanda McKinney, 3 points.
Monett plays McDonald County in the finals on Saturday. Tipoff for the championship game is slated for 6 p.m.
The Lady Mustangs defeated Carl Junction 42-38 on Thursday.
|Saturday will mark the third time the Lady Cubs and Lady Mustang have battled this season.|
McDonald County defeated Monett 42-35 in the Neosho Holiday Tournament on Dec. 30, 2010, and Monett won 57-40 on Jan. 27.
The Lady Cubs' last district title was in 1995.