Senath-Hornersville's Taylor Clifton handles the ball against the Lady Eagles' defense. [Order this photo]
"We are coming off Christmas break and have had a few days off," New Madrid County Central coach David Crockett said. "We haven't been able to get in the gym because of the weather. The first half it took us a while to get going. The second half we got going and once we get going we are a pretty good team."
Senath-Hornersville gave New Madrid County Central everything it wanted and more in the first half. New Madrid led 18-14 at the end of the first quarter before Senath-Hornersville trimmed the deficit to 39-37 at halftime.
Senath-Hornersville's Briana Kempf takes the ball out.
The Lady Lions best offensive quarter was the second period when it scored 23 points. Taylor Clifton tallied seven of her team-high 17 points in the second quarter for Senath-Hornersville. Rachel Tom scored eight of her 13 points in the second period for Senath-Hornersville.
"Offense wasn't bad," Johnson said. "We knew they were going to come with man pressure. We did a good job setting some good screens and running a good motion offense. You don't see many teams try to play us in man and we did a great job I thought of trying to handle it. We got great looks all night. Physically, I just thought it was a matter of the boards and pressure over the course of the game. He's just got so many numbers and physicality he beats you down that way."
The Lady Eagles best offensive quarter was the third quarter when it managed 32 points. Seven players tallied a field goal for the Lady Eagles in the third period.
"They really picked up their pressure physically in the second half," Johnson said. "As far as the running and the moving was concerned I thought we were right there with them, but as far as physical pressure they put so many matchups on you that it causes a lot of problems for our lineup. But they are one of the best teams in the Bootheel and that's who we've got to play with to beat good teams."
Senath-Hornersville's Rachel Tom drives to the basket.
Whitney Williams added 13 more for New Madrid County Central.
"We've been really working hard on transition," Crockett said of his team's offense. "We are trying to get out and run. That's what we are about. We are about transition points and putting pressure on the other team as quick as we can. Tonight we did a really good job of executing that and defensively we played a better game than we have been playing lately."
Tori Brown scored 10 points for Senath-Hornersville. McKenzie Cantrell tallied six of her eight points in the second half for the Lady Lions.
New Madrid County Central returns to action Jan. 8 when it hosts Portageville.
"There is a little rivalry there," Crockett said. "I watched them play at the Christmas Tournament. They are a big team. We will see if they can get up and down the floor in transition. That's what we are about is transition. I think it will be a good game and I'm looking forward to it."
Senath-Hornersville returns to conference action Monday when it hosts Malden in a Bootheel Conference showdown.
"It has been a long break," Johnson said. "We had the Twin Rivers Tournament and knew this was going to be a tough matchup for us tonight coming back. We are fixing to get into Bootheel Conference play and play some teams we are a little more evenly matched with. We are looking forward to the Bootheel Conference Tournament. I think it is wide open and any team that comes to play on a given night could win it. I think we are one of the teams that has a chance so I think our girls are ready for Monday night."
New Madrid County Central 85, Senath-Hornersville 57
NMS 18 21 32 14 - 85
SHS 14 23 9 11 - 57
NEW MADRID COUNTY CENTRAL (85) -Shanterra Waters 2, Amirah Ruff 7, K. Rainer 2, Whitney Williams 13, Aqwanness Johnson 4, Benesha Childress 28, Karen McGloson 29. FG 40, FT 3/7, F 20. (3-pointers: Ruff 1, Williams 1. Fouled out: Williams)
SENATH-HORNERSVILLE (57) - Taylor Clifton 17, Rachel Tom 13, Karen Bracamontes 2, McKenzie Cantrell 8, Briana Kempf 5, Kenna Crawford 2, Tori Brown 10. FG 22, FT 13/22, F 8. (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: none)