The Lady Tigers of Festus sandwiched a win between a pair of losses to go 1-2 in the Annual Bob Sechrest Jr. Christmas Tournament last week. They fell to Steelville before beating Arcadia Valley and then losing to Potosi in their final game.
The girls had a solid game against Steelville, improving some areas of their game that they had been struggling with, but the Warriors were just too much for them. The Tigers fell 64-53, but Head Coach Steve McFarland was pleased with the effort.
“We played a very solid game against a very good Steelville squad. Showed more patience on offense and applied more pressure on defense. Hopefully it’s a sign that our young team is growing up.”
Josie Allen led the team in scoring with 18 points and had six assists and five rebounds to boot. Ciara McDonald nearly missed a double-double with her 11 points and nine boards. She also had three steals. Olivia Madden chipped in with nine points and Alyzah Scaggs had four points, four rebounds and four assists.
That loss dropped Festus into the consolation bracket and set them up to face Arcadia Valley. It would be a Tiger on Tiger clash in this one, with Festus getting the better end of the battle. The offense really peaked in this one as Festus shot 41% from 2-pt range, 30% from 3-pt range and 79% from the line.
As a team they grabbed an impressive 18 steals and 38 rebounds. Coach McFarland was pleased once again, saying “Great bounce back from the day before. Lots of things to build on from today’s game.”
Allen led the way again with another 18-point effort and had four assists and three steals. McDonald once again just missed a double-double with 16 points, nine boards and six thefts, but this time she was joined in her quest for a DD by Delaney Schmitt, who had 11 points and eight rebounds. Scaggs was the biggest presence on the glass with a team-high 13 grabs.
The win gave the Tigers another shot in the bracket, but they had to take on a very tough Potosi squad. The Trojans jumped out early with a 14-8 first-quarter lead, but Festus had some fight in them in this one. They won the second-quarter battle 18-16 and trailed by just four heading into the break.
That offensive momentum would fade in the third quarter though, as Potosi put up just six points, but held the Tigers to five. Then Festus came roaring back in the fourth to make the game a real nail-biter. They got within two points and had the ball, but an untimely turnover stymied the comeback and they fell 45-40.
Coach McFarland was pleased with the effort in the tournament overall, saying “We had a real good tournament, playing three good games against quality opponents.”
Allen, again, had 18 points to lead the team, chipping in with four rebounds and three assists as well. McDonald, who sat out most of the first half due to foul trouble, was huge in the second once she got back on the court. The double-double yet again alluded her, but her 11 points and nine boards were crucial to the Tiger comeback.
This was likely not the end result Festus had in mind, but they had some strong moments in the Tourney, and this young squad is improving with every game.