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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Young Lady Cubs fall to Willard

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Season tipoff. Monett's Kelsey Wiseman and Willard's Ali Perry jump to control the opening tipoff of the 2012-13 basketball season on Nov. 19. [Times Photo by Jared Lankford]
The Monett Lady Cubs basketball team (0-1) knew there was going to be growing pains this season.

Monett's varsity roster features two seniors, three juniors, four sophomores, two freshmen, and only one full-time starter from last year's team.

On Nov 19, the youth and inexperience of the Lady Cubs, combined with a mix of nerves from the first game of the season, allowed the Willard Lady Tigers (1-0) to race out to a 28-0 first quarter lead and cruise to a 64-19 victory.

Passing it off. Monett senior, Jessica Harper makes a pass to a teammate during the Lady Cubs season opening game against Willard. [Times Photo by Jared Lankford]
"There were definitely some nervous girls out there in the first quarter," said Monett coach Kelly George. "We tried to pass the ball too much, no one really wanted to step up and shoot."

During the break between the first and second quarters, George instructed her team to slow down, stop pressing on the offensive end and look for the open shot.

The Lady Cubs moved the ball down the court to open the second frame, and Faith Schmidt hit a short jumper in the lane for the purple and gold's first points of the season.

"Once we got that first bucket I saw a lot of smiles on our girls faces," said George. "Everyday in practice and every game it is a learning experience for our team. Even though the final score didn't show it, I believe we played well from the second quarter on."

The Lady Tigers only outscored Monett 15-12 in the second frame to lead 43-12 at halftime.

Willard, the trendy pick to win the Central Ozarks Conference, was taller at every position. Monett struggled against the physicality and full-court pressure. In the first half, the Lady Tigers were whistled for 13 fouls. However, with risk comes reward as Willard forced 18 Lady Cubs' turnovers.

Guard play is something that the Lady Cubs are trying to develop.

"We really don't have a true guard and we are asking some players to step up and fill that role," said George. "The only thing we can do is work on it every day in practice. I loved the fact that we never quit tonight and we played hard until the end of the game."

The Lady Tigers won the third quarter battle, outpacing Monett 17-2 to lead 60-14 heading into the final period.

Willard was led in scoring by Ali Perry's 14 points. Makenzie Parker added 9 points and Amber Percival, Mallory Kurtz and Caitlyn Carpenter recorded 7 points each.

Schmidt paced the Lady Cubs with 8 points. Jessica Harper chipped in 4 points. Brooke McLean, Lakin English and Kendall Bounous tallied 2 points apiece and Cheryl Barnes had 1 point.

Monett will be in action on Nov. 26 at the Carl Junction Tournament.

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