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By: Corey Stott
SHELBYVILLE, Mo.- 1/16-1/20/23- Coach Cory Shultz and his Lady Tigers basketball team took on a very tough field of high school women’s basketball teams this past week at the 34th annual North Shelby tournament. The Lady Tigers entered the week as the five-seed.
The first challenge for the Lady Tigers was a Monday night matchup with the four-seed Schuyler County Lady Rams, who also came into the tournament as the fifth-ranked team in the latest Missouri state Class 2 poll. Scotland County took the early lead but just a minute and a half in, the Lady Rams tied it at 4-4. Both teams got off to a relatively slow start, but the Lady Rams found their stride and ran off a 10-4 run over the final six minutes of the period. Schuyler led 14-8 after one quarter of play.
Scotland County hit a quick bucket to open the second quarter, but Schuyler County went on a fast 6-0 run over the next minute and suddenly had built a 20-10 lead. Another run, this time 11-0 for the Lady Rams over the final two and a half minutes of the half saw Schuyler County firmly in control at the half leading 37-19.
Paige Bishop hit a free throw in the first minute of the third quarter, but the Lady Tigers then went scoreless over the next five minutes. A Bryn Aylward 3-pointer with just under three minutes to play in the quarter broke the scoring drought. The Lady Tigers only got a pair of free throws and the 3-pointer the entire quarter, and trailed 49- 24 after three.
The fourth quarter was more even in scoring, but the Lady Rams cruised to a comfortable 65-35 win in the opening round. Kait Hatfield led all scorers with 24 points. Scotland County was led by Kwyn Hamlin’s 14 points. They also got six from Abby Doster and five each from Aylward, Bishop and Charlee Holland.
The Lady Tigers next competed in a consolation semi-final against the eight-seed Knox County Lady Eagles. Knox County was looking for its first win all season. Both teams got off to a very slow start in the 4:30 contest in front of a very small crowd of spectators. Knox County went on a 3-0 run followed by a 6-0 run to gain the early 9-4 lead. The Lady Eagles led 13-8 at the end of the first.
Scotland County seemed to wake up to start the second quarter and started the period with a 7-0 run to regain a 17-16 lead with just under two minutes to play in the half. There were four more lead changes before the half, but a Bishop runner down the lane with 22 seconds left gave the Lady Tigers a 21-20 halftime lead.
Knox County’s Brianna Miller hit a 3-pointer at the 5:40 mark of the third quarter to tie the game at 25 apiece. Bishop had the answer with a banked field goal from the free throw stripe to regain the lead for Scotland County 27-25. The Lady Tigers would not relinquish the lead again. They went on a 13-6 run to close out the period and led 38-31 after three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, the Lady Tiger defense held Knox County to just four points while putting up 13 of their own. They went on to win by a final of 51-35.
Bishop led all scorers with 22 points. Miller had 17 for Knox County. Scotland County’s scoring was rounded out by Hamlin with 14, Doster with 12 and Aylward with three.
That set up a consolation final between the Lady Tigers of Scotland County and the six-seed Lady Bulldogs of LaPlata. Scotland County opened the game with the first four points, but LaPlata went on a 9-0 run to lead 11-6 with 1:45 left in the first quarter. LaPlata led 11-10 after one period.
A Hamlin layup got things rolling for the Lady Tigers to start the second. It gave Scotland County a 12-11 lead. The Lady Tigers ended up going for a 6-0 run to start the period. They outscored LaPlata 15-5 in the quarter to lead 25-16 at the half.
The Lady Tiger defense clamped down in the third quarter and held LaPlata to just 1 point in the third. They didn’t get that point until just over 1:30 left in the frame. Scotland County led 38-17 after three quarters. The fourth quarter saw a more even scoring tally but the Lady Tigers easily went on to a 46-28 win and the consolation title.
Layne Mack led LaPlata with 13 points. Hamlin led all scorers with 15 for Scotland County. Doster had 14 points, Bishop 13, Holland and Emma Harvey had two apiece.