The Festus Tigers Girls Varsity Basketball team finished the season at 15-11 after falling 56-44 to the Cape Central Tigers in the Quarterfinal Round of the District Playoffs on Thursday. It wasn’t the ending these girls were looking for, but it doesn’t take away from an impressive season in a rebuild year.
The playoff game on Thursday started out just fine, with Josie Allen having a big first quarter with a pair of threes and a bucket, and both teams putting up 16 points. But the Tigers unravelled in the second and were outscored 22-6. That would create a 38-22 lead for Cape at the half, and a hole Festus just couldn’t dig themselves out of.
They continued to struggle after the break. The defense was better in the third quarter, but the Tigers were still outscored 10-5 in the period. Thankfully, the offense began to click in the fourth with 17 points, but it wasn’t enough. Central only managed eight, but the lead was just too big.
Festus did manage to get the bench involved though, and the three Freshman, Olivia Madden, Alyzah Scaggs and Addison Smith, stepped up and made a little noise. It was nice to see the future of the program contribute in the final frame of the season, despite it being a 56-44 loss.
The girls shot just 32% from the floor and couldn’t make their way to the free-throw line enough to chip away at the lead. It was a rough way to end the season, but games like these are always a learning experience.
Allen, in her final game of her High School career, had 15 points to lead the team. She hit three from downtown and three from the paint, concluding an incredible run with the Tigers. She ends her career with 1,104 points in 66 games after missing her Freshman season due to knee injury and games lost to Covid cancellations in her Sophomore campaign. For the season she averaged over 17 PPG, had 93 rebounds, 69 assists and 96 steals. It was quite a year for the soon to be graduating Senior.
Fellow Senior Mya Courtois had six points on the night and capped off a successful season with 183 points, 62 rebounds, 31 assists and 49 steals. Ciara McDonald, the team’s second leading scorer, just missed a double-double in this one with 10 points and nine boards. She finishes the season averaging 10.2 PPG and led the team with 184 rebounds. She had 37 assists and 68 steals as well.
The other two starters, Elizabeth Skaggs and Jersey Latham, finished off a solid season as well. Skaggs ended the year with 139 points, 115 rebounds, 37 assists and 49 steals. Latham had 101 boards and 51 steals and chipped in with 62 points as a defensive specialist.
When asked about the final game and the season as a whole, Head Coach Steve McFarland had praise to go all around, saying, “I was very proud of my three Freshmen tonight. They came off the bench played very well. We finished the year 15-11, not bad for a rebuilding year. I felt like we were competitive throughout the season. Our two Senior captains did a fantastic job of pulling the team together.”
The loss of the Seniors will be tough to absorb, but this is a young team with talent ready to step up and make a bigger impact next season. A group as well coached as this one will surely remain competitive, and the expectations shouldn’t be limited.
Congrats to the Tigers on a job well done in 2022-23.