Carthage girls knock off Lebanon to advance to Pink and White semifinals

·3 min read

Dec. 28—SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Another day, another victory over a higher-seeded squad for the Carthage girls basketball team.

The Tigers knocked off third-seeded and previously unbeaten Lebanon 57-56 on Tuesday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the Pink and White Classic held at Drury's O'Reilly Family Event Center.

The victory sends Carthage (5-4) to the tournament semifinals, where it will play second-seeded Republic at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

"It was a huge win for the program today," Carthage coach Scott Moore said. "The girls played so hard against an undefeated Lebanon team. We controlled the pace of the game from the tip to the final buzzer.

"I'm so proud of how hard these girls are playing right now. They are so fun to coach and the fans are really enjoying our brand of basketball."

The matchup was a back-and-forth one that saw Lebanon jump out to a 18-9 lead at the end of the first quarter. Carthage fought back and took a 27-24 lead with 3:23 to go in the first half thanks to a 18-6 run to open the second quarter.

However, the Yellowjackets responded with a 10-2 burst to take a 34-29 advantage at the break. Lebanon started off the second half strong and led 46-39 at the 2:08 mark, but the Tigers sliced the deficit to 48-43 by the end of the third stanza.

Carthage opened the fourth period on a 5-0 run to knot the score at 48 with 6:54 left in regulation. After trading scores over the next several minutes, Kianna Yates was fouled off Carthage's inbounds play and she stepped to the free throw line with four seconds to go.

Yates' first attempt was good to give the Tigers a one-point lead. The point guard's second attempt bounced in and out, but Yates proceeded to grab her own offensive rebound to seal the victory for Carthage.

Just a junior, Yates finished with a team-high 22 points to lead the Tigers.

"Kianna is a constant catalyst for our team and she's playing amazing basketball right now," Moore said. "When she's in control, the rest of the girls feed off of her energy and we get to another level."

Freshman Maggie Boyd added 15 points for Carthage.

"Maggie had a great game today," Moore said. "She plays so hard on both ends of the floor and in positions 1-4 for us. Her activity and position flexibility allows us to play big or small whenever we want.

Freshman Lauren Choate had eight points for the Tigers, while junior Daniela Marquez chipped in six points.

"Lauren raised her game today and hit a couple of crucial threes for us," Moore said. "She was slowed by an early season injury and is just now getting up to full varsity speed. She will continue to improve with every minute she plays.

"Daniela is providing great energy for us. She's getting a ton of rebounds, loose balls and steals. Not always showing up under her name in the scorebook, but definitely helps us win these competitive games."

Lebanon (8-1) was paced by Raegan McCowan with a game-high 25 points.

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