The Rolla girls basketball team (7-13, 3-2 OC) hosted Parkview for an Ozark Conference matchup on Monday, Feb. 6. The Lady Bulldogs were never able to run away with the game, but they held of a late push by Parkview for a 48-40 win.
The Lady Bulldogs got out to a strong start, building their lead out to 9-4 near the midway point of the first quarter. After the fast start, Rolla went cold. The Lady Bulldogs went without a basket for the next three minutes, but continued to play strong defensively. Parkview cut the Rolla lead to 9-7 before a Rolla basket pushed the lead to four. Rebecca Janke then hit a layup at the quarter ended and the Lady Bulldogs ended the first with a 13-7 lead. Loran Pritchett led the charge with six points in the quarter.
The offense kept rolling for Rolla in the second. Midway through the quarter their lead was up to nine, but the had also gotten themselves into foul trouble. Parkview was in the single or double bonus for most of the quarter, but they didn't take advantage of repeated trips to the line. The Lady Vikings went 5-9 from the charity stripe and only managed two baskets from the field in the second. Rolla scored 10 points of their own in the quarter and went into the half with a 23-16 lead.
Rolla maintained that lead for a majority of the quarter, but Parkview made a strong push at the end of the third. Midway through the quarter, Rolla held onto a 30-22 lead, but the Lady Vikings went on a run led by Paiton Acord. Acord scored eight points in the third, as Parkview rallied back to within four near the end of the quarter. Kelly Dupes managed to stop the bleeding by hitting a three at the buzzer, which allowed Rolla to go into the fourth quarter with a 37-30 lead.
Parkview made several runs in the fourth quarter, but the Lady Bulldogs never surrendered their lead. The Lady Vikings got within two with three minutes to play, but Karlee Cheesman sank a three to end the run. She ended up making two threes in the quarter to lead Rolla, but the key to victory was sealing things at the charity stripe. Dupes went to the line several times at the end of the game as Parkview tried to foul to make a comeback, but she went 4-4 to ice the win. Rolla was able to hold on for a 48-40 win.
The offense was well balanced for Rolla in the victory. Ellie Rodgers was the only player in double figures with 10 points, but Cheesman added eight, while Pritchett and Dupes each added seven. Eight players scored for Rolla in the win.
For head coach Luke Floyd, the biggest takeaway is that he was glad to play a good game on their home court.
"I think more than anything it was nice to come home and play well in front of our fans," said Floyd. "Our last two games (at home), St. James and West Plains really came in and hit into us. It's kinda coincided with our youth girls coming in and watching us, so tonight we hopefully gave them something to be excited about being a Lady Bulldog."
This was a rematch for Rolla, as they faced Parkview in the Sedalia Tournament and lost 62-50 a couple weeks ago. That game was definitely on their minds on Monday.
"Parkview got us earlier this year in Sedalia," said coach Floyd. "We had revenge on our mind a little bit and I think we really answered the bell."
Rolla is still a young team that makes silly mistakes. Turnovers on bad passes helped to contribute so some of Parkview's runs, but at the end of the day some of those young players really settled in and were able to stop the bleeding when Parkview was able to get going.
"A lot of it's just due to youth. We just make a lot of silly youth mistakes," said coach Floyd. "As the game went on, Karlee Cheesman especially, it seemed like every time Parkview went on a run, she knocked down a huge shot for us. And Loran (Pritchett), we put her on their best player Paiton Acord and I thought she did a tremendous job guarding her. She still got 16 or so, but nothing for her came easy tonight, our help-side defense was really good on her. Those are positives we can build on going into the Camdenton game later this week."
Another big takeaway for coach Floyd was seeing a change in mentality in his players.
"I thought tonight we did a great job of playing to win instead of playing not to lose," said Floyd. "There have been several games earlier in the year, where we get really tight and we're just trying not to turn the ball over and we don't wanna do this because we might mess up. Tonight, we just kinda let it all hang out and we just played. When you play to win, I think you're going to have success more often then when you just go into that conservative mode."
The Lady Bulldogs stay within the conference with a trip to Camdenton on Thursday, Feb. 9.
Rodgers - 10 pts, 4 rebs, 2 asts, 1 stl; Cheesman - 8 pts, 3 rebs, 2 stls, 1 ast; Pritchett - 7 pts, 2 rebs, 1 ast, 1 stl; Dupes - 7 pts, 1 reb, 1 ast; Janke - 6 pts, 7 rebs, 3 blks, 1 stl; Brow - 4 pts, 3 asts, 3 rebs, 2 stls; Brown - 4 pts, 3 rebs, 1 blk, 1 stl; Dean - 2 pts; Parsons - 1 reb