The West Plains High School Lady Zizzers basketball team went 3-1 and earned a second-place finish in the Pink and White Lady Basketball Classic. The tournament was held at Drury University in Springfield.
The Lady Zizzers defeated Aurora, Willard and Clever before falling to Northside, Ark., in the championship game.
West Plains 68, Aurora 18
Sophomore Ashton Judd had a career-high 18 points in the opening round win over Aurora with 13 of her points coming in the game's third quarter.
The Lady ZIzzers led 17-11 after the first quarter.
"Our press defense was not effective in the first quarter and we were a little sluggish," said Lady Zizzers Head Coach Scott Womack. "Offensively we shot the ball well, 17 points in the first quarter was not bad."
The Lady Zizzers turned up the defensive intensisty in the second quarter and led 36-15 enterring halftime. West Plains then outscored Aurora 26-1 in the third quarter, coasting to a 68-18 blowout win.
Alli Holesapple scored 12 points; Mackenzie Brunson, 9; Bre Harlan, 9; Cass Cunningham, 7; Kaylea Dixon, 6; Drew Harris, 4; and Peta Collins, 3.
"We were well balance and played a solid game to open the tournament," said Womack.
West Plains 68, Willard 36
West Plains continued its dominance with a 24-7 quarter to open it's second round game against Willard. The Lady Zizzers hit six 3-pointers in the opening fram to take a commanding lead. The Lady Zizzers led 36-11 at halftime, 54-20 at the end of the third and then won 68-36.
"We jumped out to a big lead and were able to hold on throughout the game," said Womack. "I am really proud of the girl's effort against a real quality team."
Cunningham lead West Plains with a 21 point, seven rebound performance.
Brunson added 14 points; Judd, 12; Holesapple, 8; Harlan, 5; Zoey Williams, 4; Harris, 2; and Jade Barry, 2.
West Plains 54, Clever 40
West Plains defeated Clever in the championship of the annual Fair Grove Tournament earlier this season and met again in the Pink and White semifinals. The Lady Zizzers were again able to top the Clever Lady Blue Jays 54-40 to advance to the championship game.
“The girls did a really good job on both ends of the court,” said Womack. “We jumped out to a 14-4 lead, extended the lead to 17 at the half and pushed it to a 20-point lead in the third. Our shooting continues to a team strength and our defense has been really good.”
Cunningham scored a season-high 25 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Lady Zizzers to victory. Brunson added 15 points; Judd, 9; Harlan, 4; and Holesapple, 1.
The win improved the Lady Zizzers’ record to 10-0, matching the teams best start in program history.
Northside 55, West Plains 53
The Lady Zizzers were considered underdogs in the championship game against the Northside (Fort Smith, Ark.) High School Lady Bears. Northside entered the game as the ninth-ranked team in America.
“We knew we had our work cut out for us but our girls answered the challenge,” said Womack. “They hurt us on the boards early but fought back and had a couple chances to tie or take the lead late in the game.”
A last second 3-pointer from Cunningham made the final score 55-53.
Brunson scored 20 points; Judd added 19; Cunningham, 8; Holesapple, 4; and Harlan, 2.
“I am really proud of our girls,” said Womack. “Four games in five days in tough, especially considering the travel back-and-forth to Springfield.”
The Lady Zizzers will play Poplar Bluff Saturday at the West Plains High School. The junior varsity game tips off at 1 p.m. with the varsity contest to follow.
The West Plains freshman girls will play Marshfield at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the West Plains High School