Verona stormed out to a 15-8 lead enroute to a 32-18 halftime advantage.
"The girls worked hard and played as a team to get the win," said Verona coach Ryan Yates. "We had some of our underclassmen step up and hit some shots. Their development over the season will be crucial to our success. We now have to prepare for the next round of the tournament."
Tristan Carrasquillo led the Lady Wildcats in scoring with 19 points. Jessica Youngberg chipped in 13 points. Taylor Pinkly recorded 12 points. Shelby Barsotti added 6 points, and Leann Hesemann finished with 1 point.
Verona will face Jasper in the semi-finals of the Thomas Jefferson tournament on Friday. Tip-off is at 6 p.m. at Diamond High School.
The Verona Wildcats fell 53-45 to the defending Class 2 state champion Crane Pirates on Monday night in the initial round of the Pierce City Invitational basketball tournament.
Verona trailed 16-15 at the end of the first period as four Wildcat players balanced the attack. Verona erased four-point deficits three times and outscored Crane 11-9 in the second period to take a 26-25 lead into intermission on Nick Washam's layup at the buzzer.
The Pirates adjusted to Verona's attack and opened the third period with a 10-2 run to build a 40-30 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
|The Wildcats trailed 46-36 with 3:50 remaining when Verona's Wesley Kissinger hit an eight-foot jumper. Cody Ernsberger then stole the inbounds pass and hit a layup to trim the advantage to 46-40.|
The Wildcats forced a quick turnover, and a Kissinger trey narrow Crane's lead to 46-43 with 3:30 remaining.
Verona picked off another Pirate pass but missed two 3-point shots that would have tied the game. The Pirates responded with a 3-pointer and then hit their free throws down the stretch to ice the game.
"I thought we played well in the first half," said Verona coach Brad Stewart. "We struggled to get the ball into the post against their zone. We will get better and learn from this game."
|Kissinger led Verona with 19 points. Ernsberger finished with 9 points. Seth Losack chipped in 5 points. Washam tallied 4 points, and Larry Patterson and Thomas Estrada recorded 2 points each.|
The Verona Wildcats will face Exeter in the consolation semi-finals on Friday in the Pierce City Tournament. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.