Belle duo earns All-District honors

Will Johnson
Sports Editor

Reaching the semifinals of the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) Class 3, District 4 Girls Basketball Tournament at St. James High School proved beneficial for a pair of Belle Lady Tiger sophomores.

Rewarded for their play not only during the district tournament but throughout the season, Halle Smith and Gracie Schultz were both named to the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association (MBCA) Class 3, District 4 Girls All-District Basketball Team.

“I’m proud of both girls for earning All-District (basketball) honors from the coaches,” Belle Lady Tiger head basketball coach Evin Farris said. “Halle (Smith) and Gracie (Schultz) were keys to our team both on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.”

Avenging a 28-25 loss to Cuba during the regular season, Belle edged the Lady Wildcats 55-54 on a Chloe Krause buzzer beater to advance to the district semifinals against Steelville’s Lady Cardinals.

Falling 55-49 to their Gasconade Valley Conference (GVC) rivals, Belle’s Lady Tigers finished an outstanding season with an overall record of 21-6 along with a 4-1 mark in GVC play giving them a share of the conference title with the aforementioned Lady Wildcats and Lady Cardinals.

Steelville went on to fall to St. James in the district championship game by a final score of 32-27.

Named Coach of the Year was St. James Lady Tiger head coach and 1996 Belle High School graduate Terry Wells.

Joining Smith and Schultz on the MBCA Class 3, District 4 Girls All-District Basketball Team were Dixon’s Brooke Sinclair, St. James’ Savanna Riccetti, Steelville’s Sydney Booker, Steelville’s Alyssa Church, St. James’ Ashlyn Rinehart, Cuba’s Audrey Williams, Grandview’s (Hillsboro) Haley Harlow and Cuba’s Molly Mitchell.

St. James advanced to one of eight MSHSAA Class 3 Sectional contests last Wednesday night at the Jefferson College Field House in Hillsboro.

Facing Saxony Lutheran’s Lady Crusaders, Wells and his Lady Tigers saw their season end at 13-16 following a 54-40 loss to Saxony Lutheran.

In the quarterfinals three days later at Farmington Civic Center in Farmington, Saxony Lutheran saw their season come to a close following a 65-57 loss to Licking’s Lady Wildcats.