The West Plains High School Lady Zizzers basketball team picked up its first win of the season Monday with 62-30 victory over Willow Springs. The junior varsity squad also won, 47-15. No freshman game was played.
Former Lady Zizzer Cass Johnson earned her first coaching victory in the night’s junior varsity contest. She led the junior varsity team to a 47-15 win. West Plains led 10-4 after the first quarter, 22-8 at halftime, 37-15 entering the fourth quarter and then won 47-15.
“It was a good performance for the first game of the season, “ said Head Coach Scott Womack. “It’s good getting these younger girls some experience and getting them to learn our system.”
Sadie Hutchinson led the Lady Zizzers with 11 points; Kaylea Dixon had 10 points; Megan MacCrackin, 5; Mary Claire Gohn, 4; Shelby Cooper, 4; Peta Collins, 3; Anna Meeks, 2; Kylie Kittrell, 2; Drew Harris, 2; Zoey Williams, 2; and Madison Sisco, 2.
The varsity team then picked up a 32-point win to close the night.
West Plains led 15-12 after one quarter, 39-14 after two, 55-24 entering the fourth and won 62-30.
Mackenzie Brunson scored 16 points and recorded nine steals, nine assists and seven rebounds in the Lady Zizzers win.
“Mackenzie picked up right where she left off a season ago,” said Womack.
Cass Cunningham scored 14 points; Ashton Judd, 11; Dixon, 6; Alli Holesapple, 6; Bre Harlan, 5; Harris, 2; and Collins, 2.
“I thought we came out and played really well, especially on the offensive end,” said Womack. “Ashton hit a couple of early three-pointers to get us going.
“They made a bit of a run on us to end the first quarter but we made the necessary adjustments and outscored them 24-2 in the second quarter and forced 19 first half turnovers.”
The Lady Zizzers shot 50 percent from the three-point in the game.
“For our first game I am overall very pleased with our effort,” said Womack. “I thought we played very hard.”
The Lady Zizzers will take their 1-0 record to the Fair Grove Tournament, which begins Monday. The Lady Zizzers will play Monett in the first round.
“To my knowledge, this will the first time we have ever played Monett,” said Womack.
The junior varsity girls will compete in the Parkview Junior Varsity Tournament. The junior varsity tournament also begins Monday.
The Lady Zizzers finished last season with an 18-10 record (7-2 in conference).
Last years team graduated Hailey Meeks, Morgan Mahan and Liesel Garrett. All three received All-Ozark Conference honors.
The 2019-20 season returns three starters, Brunson, Cunningham and Harlan, and secen letterman.
Brunson, a Missouri Backetball Coaches Association All-State performer will look to lead the Lady Zizzers. She averaged 14 points and 4.5 rebounds a game a year ago. She also earned all-conference and all-district honors.
“Mackenzie has a lot of big game experience and we’ll need her to use it to help a relatively young team,” said Womack.
Seniors Cunningham, Harlan and Holesapple will be expected to step up for the Lady Zizzers.
While Harlan and Cunningham have starting experience, Holesapple will be starting at the varsity level for the first time.
“Alli came on strong last season and has worked really hard for us this summer,” said Womack.
Sophomore Judd and freshmen Dixon and Harris will see a lot of varsity minutes.
“Ashton had some injury issues a season ago,” said Womack. “She has worked hard to get back to this point and will see a lot of action this year.”
Womack expects to see the younger players step up and be key contributors by the season’s end.
“These girls just need some experience,” said Womack. “I really our team chemistry. We just need to work on some defensive things and our communication. They’ve been working really hard and are ready for a succesful season.”