"It's always great to open your season with a win," said Pierce City coach Tiffany Dirks. "The girls came out a little skittish and rusty in the first half but settled down and played strong in the third and fourth quarters."
The Lady Patriots led 17-13 after one quarter of play and 28-22 heading into intermission. The Lady Eagles trimmed the margin to 34-33 at the end of three quarters of play and outscored East Newton 24-17 in the final period to earn the six-point victory.
Kaelyn Osborn led the Lady Eagles with 20 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals. Krishna Merriman had 13 points. Bailee Hayward added 9 points. Megan Golubski contributed 10 rebounds, 7 points and 3 assists. Christine Younker tallied 6 points, and Becca Hatfield finished with 2 points.
Pierce City continues play in the Ash Grove Tournament on Thursday in a semi-final matchup with host Ash Grove. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m.
Pierce City boys
The Pierce City Eagles basketball team fell 65-48 to East Newton Tuesday night in the opening round of the Pierce City Invitational tourney.
East Newton jumped out to a 13-3 first quarter lead as the Eagles struggled to find the bottom of the net. Pierce City missed on its first 10 shots and trailed 32-15 at halftime.
"I don't know if it was rust or nerves that had us bottled up early," said Pierce City coach Matt Street. "We got on track in the second half, but we were in too deep of a hole to recover from. We now turn our focus to Sarcoxie on Friday night."
Wayne Joe Sooter led the Eagles in scoring with 20 points.
Also scoring for Pierce City were: Colin Garner, 12 points; Cody Fitzpatrick, 7 points; Zack Hyde, 6 points; Ian Brottlund, 2 points; and Kole Kelly, 1 point.
The Eagles continue play in the tournament against Sarcoxie on Friday. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.