"It's definitely tough to play a team three times in one season," said Pierce City head coach Tiffany Dirks. "Both teams know what the other team is capable of. I was very proud of our effort, and we are excited for the chance to move on in district play."
The Lady Eagles led 16-10 after one quarter of play and 29-15 at halftime.
East Newton was led in scoring by Whitney Thomlinson with 9 points and Shelby Thomlinson with 7 points.
Scoring for Pierce City were: Merriman, 20; Kaelyn Osborn, 10; Megan Golubski, Christine Younker and Becca Hatfield, 6 points each; and Bailee Hayward, 4.
The fourth-seeded Lady Eagles will face top-seeded Mt. Vernon in the district semi-finals on Thursday. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.
Pierce City boys
The Pierce City Eagles season came to an end Tuesday night when they fell 70-54 to top-seeded Mt. Vernon in the Class 3, District 12 quarterfinals.
"It was a seven-point game with three and a half minutes to go," said Pierce City coach Matt Street. "I was proud of the boys and their effort. We got better as the season went along, and that is always encouraging."
The Mountaineers outscored the Eagles 22 to 10 in the first period and led 37-23 at halftime. Pierce City picked up its intensity in the second half and outperformed Mt. Vernon 19 to 13, trailing 50-42 to start the final period.
"I told our players. after the game that they have no reason to hang their heads," said Street. "We started the season 2-12 but ended up winning nine of our last 11 games."
Pierce City finishes the season with a 13-14 record,
Scoring for Mt. Vernon were: Zane Phillips, 16; Shane Williams, 15; Chandler Meyer and Kaden Jones, 12 each; Luke Call, 8; Braden Adams, 6; and Skylar Phillips, 1.
Scoring for Pierce City were: Wayne Joe Sooter, 30; Zack Hyde, 10; Colin Garner, 8; Cody Fitchpatrick, 4; and Kole Kelly, 2.