County girls basketball teams denied hardware

By Will Johnson, Sports Editor
Posted 2/8/21

RUSSELLVILLE — Playing their way into the final day of the Russellville Girls Basketball Tournament Saturday, Vienna’s Lady Eagles and Belle’s Lady Tigers looked to each bring …

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County girls basketball teams denied hardware

Posted

RUSSELLVILLE — Playing their way into the final day of the Russellville Girls Basketball Tournament Saturday, Vienna’s Lady Eagles and Belle’s Lady Tigers looked to each bring consolation and third-place hardware respectively back to Maries County.

Up first was Jason Kampeter’s Vienna Lady Eagles taking on Tuscumbia’s Lady Lions.

Vienna was looking to avenge a 51-33 loss to Tuscumbia from back on Tuesday, Jan. 19.

Leading 47-44 with 4:50 left, Vienna saw the Lady Lions end the game on an 11-1 run leaving them on the wrong end of a 58-48 final score.

Seeing seven lead changes and one tie in the first quarter, Vienna wound up trailing Tuscumbia 12-11 after eight minutes of basketball.

Karissa Feeler led the Lady Eagles with four first-quarter points.

Similar to the first quarter, the second quarter had three ties and five lead changes.

Trailing 17-12 with 5:38 until halftime, a pair of Marsie Messersmith free throws started an 8-0 run that was capped by a Kadence George 3-pointer that gave the Lady Eagles a 20-17 lead with 3:45 for the first half.

Down 25-24 in the closing seconds of the half, Terra Huffman hit a 3-pointer with :07 ticks left giving Vienna a 27-25 halftime lead.

Already with a thin bench, Vienna began the second half without the services of Messersmith after she sustained an injury to her hand in the second quarter.

Third-quarter action saw three ties and five lead changes duplicating those numbers from the second quarter.

Down 39-35 with just over a minute left in the third quarter, a Huffman basket and a George 3-pointer put Vienna back in front 40-39 with :11 ticks left.

Tuscumbia’s Kylee Ash beat the third quarter buzzer leaving the Lady Eagles trailing the Lady Lions 41-40 going into the fourth quarter.

Held to one point over the last 4:50, Vienna ended their week at Russellville with a win and two losses.

Huffman led Vienna finishing with a double double of 14 points and 10 rebounds in addition to two assists.

George also finished in double figures scoring 10 points to go along with six rebounds, two steals and two assists.

Before leaving the game with an injured hand, Messersmith finished with nine points and five rebounds.

Jada Kleffner and Feeler each added six points while Hollis rounded out the Vienna scoring against Tuscumbia with three points.

Another familiar opponent awaited Vienna in the consolation semifinals at Russellville the night before.

Facing Versailles’ Lady Tigers, Vienna looked for their second win over Versailles after defeating them 63-51 at home last Thursday.

Leading 34-21 at halftime, Vienna outscored Versailles 28-23 in the second half to post a 62-44 victory.

Taking a 20-12 lead after one quarter, Vienna hit five 3-point shots and five free throws to account for all of their first-quarter points.

George led the Lady Eagles with 11 first-quarter points.

Outscoring the Lady Tigers 14-9 to close the first half, Vienna went into the halftime intermission with a 34-21 lead.

George (15) and Messersmith (14) combined for 29 of Vienna’s 32 points in the first half with the other three coming from Feeler.

Nearly doubling up Versailles 16-9 in the third quarter, the Lady Eagles went into the fourth quarter with a 50-30 lead over the Lady Tigers.

In spite of being outscored 14-12 in the fourth quarter, Vienna posted their second win over Versailles in an eight-day span.

Adding 12 points in the second half, George led Vienna and all scorers with a game-high 27 points.

Messersmith joined her in double figures finishing with 18 points.

Feeler just missed making it a trio of double-digit scoring ending up with eight points.

Huffman chipped in five points along with two points each from Kayla Hertzing and Kleffner.

Drawing Eugene’s Lady Eagles in first-round action last Monday, Vienna could not overcome a 34-12 halftime deficit before falling to Eugene, 59-19.

Messersmith led Vienna against Eugene with seven points followed by six each from Feeler and Huffman.

Belle Lady Tigers at RHS

Also competing in Russellville last week, Evin Farris’ Belle Lady Tigers looked to make it three-for-three in bringing home tournament hardware.

Defeating Calvary Lutheran 66-32 in first-round action last Monday, Belle earned a rematch with the host Russellville Lady Indians.

Falling behind 34-17 at halftime, the Lady Tigers could not get any closer before falling 66-38 to the Lady Indians.

That loss sent them to Saturday’s third-place game against Eugene’s Lady Eagles.

Leading 42-41 with 6:58 remaining on a Chloe Krause 3-pointer, Belle saw that lead disappear when Eugene closed the game on a 15-7 run forcing the Lady Tigers to settle for fourth place following a 56-49 setback.

Trailing 17-8 with 1:52 left in the opening quarter, Halle Smith single handedly got Belle back in the game scoring the last eight points of the quarter cutting Eugene’s lead to one at 17-16.

Two Gracie Schultz free throws and a Krause bucket gave Belle their first lead of the game at the 5:40 mark of the second quarter, 20-17.

3-point shots from Nevaeh Kinsey and Krause along with two more Schultz free throws bumped the Lady Tiger lead to 28-21 with 2:42 until halftime.

Eugene scored the final five points of the half to cut Belle’s lead to two at 28-26 at halftime.

Smith’s 14 first-quarter points led Belle in the first half.

Leading 34-33 midway through the third quarter, Belle saw Eugene close the period on an 8-3 run leaving them trailing 41-37 with one quarter to play.

Opening the quarter with a Natalie Gehlert bucket and a Krause 3-pointer, Belle took a 42-41 lead over Eugene with 6:58 to play.

Seconds later, the Lady Eagles scored 11 of the next 15 points to take the lead for good.

In a losing cause, Smith led Belle and all scorers with 22 points and 21 rebounds.

Krause joined her in double figures with 13 points while Schultz ended up with nine points.

Kinsey added three points while Gehlert rounded out Belle’s scoring against Eugene with two points.

Krause led Belle with nine points against Russellville and also led the Lady Tigers with 16 points against Calvary Lutheran.

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