The Festus Tigers Girls Varsity Basketball team closed out a rollercoaster of a regular season on Thursday night with a dominant 63-23 win over the Pacific Indians. The victory moved the Tigers to 15-10 on the year and extended their winning streak to five games. Their longest of the season.
That string of wins also solidified their place in the Class 5 District Tournament as the number six seed. It’s not an ideal placement, but certainly one they can work with.
As for the victory over Pacific, it was about as dominant as victories go, and it was more or less over from the get-go. The Tigers went up 21-9 after the first eight minutes, and Josie Allen was up to her old tricks. She went off for 12 points in the first quarter and Festus was on the road to dominance.
The second frame was even more lopsided, with the Tigers putting up 28 against just 10 from the Indians. The defense was on point, and the offense seemingly couldn’t miss. Allen had nine more in the quarter to move to 21 in just a half of basketball, and Festus had themselves a 49-19 lead at the break.
The game was pretty much in the bag at that point, and Head Coach Steve McFarland let the subs gets some valuable minutes in the regular season finale at home in front of their fans. And they came to play, especially defensively. They outscored Pacific 8-3 in the third and made the fourth quarter essentially a foregone conclusion.
Still, they had to play the minutes, and the two teams gutted out the final frame. Festus won the battle 6-1. Yes, that’s right. They allowed one solitary point in the fourth quarter to close out the game 63-23, with a remarkable defensive performance.
The team was 10-of-20 from two-point range and an impressive 6-of-12 from three, to post a 50% shooting night overall. Coach McFarland was proud of the girls’ effort and broke down the win by saying, “a hot shooting first half decided the outcome early. The bench played most of the second half and managed to extend the lead. I was proud of the way the girls came out and took care of business. We hadn’t played since last Thursday and I was worried we might start out flat. My Senior guards set the tone early. That keeps our winning streak alive at five and we finish the regular season at 15-10.”
Allen shined once again in this one with 24 points, four rebounds, five assists and seven steals as she filled up the boxscore. Ciara McDonald had a great game as well with 13 points, six rebounds and six steals, while Mya Courtois racked up 11 points and three assists. Elizabeth Skaggs had six points, five assists and five steals and Jersey Latham led the team with six rebounds.
It was a convincing win on all fronts and a great way to simultaneously finish the regular season and roll into the District Playoffs. The Tigers will go head-to-head with the Cape Central Tigers in the first round on March 2nd. Central owns the three-seed in the tournament.
Tipoff is at 8:30. Good luck Tigers!