The Festus Tigers Girls Varsity Basketball team continued their up and down season this week by splitting the only two games on the docket. They fell to Saxony Lutheran on Monday 51-41, but rebounded on Thursday to take down DeSoto 42-25. This young squad is learning each game and soaking up everything that comes with winning and losing.
Despite having the luxury of hosting the game on Monday, the Tigers still went into the hole early, trailing 14-10 after the first quarter. Josie Allen stood out in the frame though with five points, including a big three from downtown. Sadly, that deficit would grow in the next eight minutes though, as the Crusaders outscored Festus 13-7. That put the Lady Tigers behind the eight ball, facing a 10-point disadvantage at the half.
After the break, the Tiger defense kicked in and held Saxony to just seven points. Unfortunately their opponent did the same, and these Festus girls didn’t see their deficit change on the scoreboard. That would be somewhat of a theme heading into the final quarter.
Both teams got their offenses going, but essentially just traded points back and forth. Ciara McDonald had a huge quarter with 11 points to lead the Tigers to a 17-spot, but the Crusaders were able to answer the call for the duration. Both teams poured in 17 points and that 10-point differential from the first half stood tall. Festus dropped the game 51-41 to fall to an even 9-9 on the season.
Head Coach Steve McFarland commented on the game with, “a strong defensive effort and good ball-handling kept us in the game on a cold shooting night. The size of Saxony’s 6’2 center proved to be the difference in the game when it was all said and done, but I was extremely proud of our effort in tonight’s game.”
McDonald led the way with 15 points and four rebounds, while Mya Courtois had 12 points and four steals. They were the only two players in double figures for the Tigers. Allen just missed the mark but had a complete game with nine points, five steals and three assists.
The girls had three days to shake off the loss, and they made the most of their siesta with a bounce back effort against the Dragons. Having to travel to DeSoto for this one didn’t phase the Tigers in the least, as they took it to the home team from the whistle.
The defense was huge in this one, as Festus kept the Dragons at bay in the first with a 12-4 showing, highlighted by four buckets from Allen for eight points. Then the offense unloaded in the second with 17 points, helped by a pair of threes from Allen and one from Courtois. That gave the Tigers a 29-12 lead at the half and a stranglehold on the game.
After the break things slowed a bit, but Festus managed to control the clock and keep up the defensive pressure. They scored just seven points, but more importantly, held DeSoto to a mere four. They were more than comfortable at that point and coasted through the final frame, eating up minutes and eventually winning by the score of 42-25.
Coach McFarland quipped, “a 30% shooting night combined with 19 turnovers on the offensive end, kept this game from becoming a runaway. Great defensive effort.”
McDonald, Jersey Latham and Rylie Moore combined to control the boards with 20 of the teams 31 rebounds and the outside shooting was in fine form. Allen hit 3-of-7 from downtown and managed 19 points to lead all scorers, while Courtois hit three of her seven in a 12-point effort. McDonald was the defensive star with 11 boards, five steals and three assists despite not finding the net.
Some highs and some lows this week, but another gritty effort from these ladies from Festus, and they will continue to improve with every game along the way. The next challenge comes in the form of the Fox Warriors on Monday. The girls will travel for that one to try and put back to back wins together for the first time since early December.