On Thursday, one of those matchups came to fruition as the Class 1 Verona Lady Wildcats surprised the Class 3 Monett Lady Cubs 65-61 in the Marionville Lady Comet Classic basketball tournament.
Verona improved to 9-4 on the season and Monett fell to 2-15.
Each team sported a John Brown University signee, Tristan Carrasquillo was nearly unstoppable for the Lady Wildcats connecting on 13 of her 16 attempts inside the arc and scored a game high 36 points, 23 of which were recorded in the first half. Hunter Glouse, the other signee came alive in the second half and recorded 29 points for the Lady Cubs.
"It's kind of bitter sweet," said Carrasquillo. "It felt awkward because we are going to be teammates and we had to compete against each other tonight. Hunter showed what she is capable of. We really didn't have anyone who could guard her."
"It's awesome we got the chance to play this season," said Glouse. "I thought we had a good game plan, but there was no stopping Tristan. It seemed like she hit every shot she took."
Verona used dribble penetration to shred the Lady Cubs defense as it extended a two point lead to 10 at 28-18 with 3:13 remaining in the second period.
Monett rallied with a 9 to 3 run with a triple by Brooke Madison and layups by Faith Schmidt, Madison and Glouse to close the gap to 32-30 with 51 seconds remaining in the half. The Lady Wildcats awoke to end the half on a 5-0 run with a basket by Jessica Youngberg and an old fashioned three-point play by Carrasquillo to lead 37-30 at intermission.
Like two heavy weight boxers, each team punched and counter punched in the third quarter. Three times Monett worked the Verona advantage down to six points, only to see the Lady Wildcats convert to push its edge to double digits to take a 56-43 lead after three quarters of play.
"We made some errors on defense," said Verona coach Ryan Yates. "Monett was able to break our press and get some easy looks. I was proud with the way our girls responded. We attacked on the offensive end. Leann Hesemann did a good job on the boards and got a couple of key put backs. T.C. (Carrasquillo) was on fire and there was no stopping her tonight.
"I thought we matured as a team," continued Yates. "We were able to get everyone involved. I knew for us to win it would take a team effort and that is exactly what we got."
Monett wouldn't fade into the night without making a valiant effort in the fourth period.
Trailing 60-48 after a Carrasquillo bucket with 5:30 left in the contest the Lady Cubs embarked on a 10 to 3 run picking up two baskets from Glouse another by Krueger and a pair of free throws by Schmidt and Raigan Ratliff during the run.
Verona aided the run by committing four turnovers and missing the front end of three one and bonus attempts from the charity stripe. However, two costly Monett turnover in the final minute proved to be too much to overcome.
"We got the game down to a two possession contest with a minute to play," said Monett coach Derrek Uhl. "We couldn't close and looked lost on the court at the end of the game. We wanted to contain Carrasquillo, but she went crazy on us."
Scoring for Monett were: Glouse, 29; Ratliff, 10; Cheryl Barnes, 7: Schmidt, 6; Madison, 5; and Abbie Krueger and Allie Krueger, 2 each.
Scoring for Verona were: Carrasquillo, 36; Pinkly, 14; Hesemann, 8; Barsotti, 4; Youngberg, 2; and Mullen, 1.
Monett will be in action at McDonald County on Thursday. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.
Verona continues play in the Marionville Tournament on Saturday facing Billings. Tipoff is scheduled for noon.