The Rolla girls basketball team (12-2) faced off against Center in the first round of the Sedalia Tournament on Thursday, Jan. 17. The Lady Bulldogs took control of the game in the second quarter and never looked back in a 84-62 win.
The Lady Bulldogs got off to a good start on Thursday night with some hot shooting from behind the arc. Rolla had four threes in the first quarter, two of which came from Taniya Corley. Carli Libhart added five points, which included a three, while Ellie Rodgers also connected from long range. Savannah Campbell added four points from the free throw line, as Rolla got out to a 20-17 lead through a quarter of play.
Rolla put Center away with excellent defense in the second quarter. The Lady Bulldogs held Center to eight points in the quarter, while their offense kept rolling. Campbell added another seven points to lead Rolla in the quarter, while Rodgers scored five more points with another three. Rolla added another 21 points in the second, as their lead ballooned out to 41-25 at the half.
The Lady Bulldogs couldn't carry their defensive momentum into the second half, but their offense never slowed down. Madison Mace led the charge in the third with six points, while Rodgers added four more points. The Lady Bulldogs also converted on seven of their nine free throw attempts in the quarter, as they took a 59-46 lead into the fourth.
Rolla spent most of the fourth quarter at the free throw line, as they scored just four points from the field. The Lady Bulldogs went to the free throw line a staggering 26 times in the fourth quarter, converting on 21 of those attempts. That strong showing from the charity stripe helped Rolla finish off a 84-62 win.
"We had a rough night defensively, but the girls moved the ball really well on the offensive end," said head coach Luke Floyd on the win. "We did a great job attacking, getting Center into foul trouble, and getting to the free throw line. Girls did a great job adjusting when it wasn’t our night defensively."
A total of five Lady Bulldogs finished the night in double figures in the win. Campbell led Rolla with 17 points in the victory. Rolla's starting guards, Rodgers and Libhart, each had 14 points, while Mace and Emma Floyd each scored 10 points. Corley chipped in with eight points, Loran Pritchett had six, Kianna Garner had three and Olivia Burken scored two points.
Rolla spent a ton of time at the free throw line in the win, attempting 50 free throws. The Lady Bulldogs were able to convert on 37 of those attempts on their way to the victory.
The Lady Bulldogs will face off against Glendale on Friday night. They were originally slated to finish the tournament on Saturday, but those games are being rescheduled due to weather. The make-up date has not been released.