Lady Bulldogs will play Scotland County Saturday at Moberly Area CC starting at 12 noon
New Franklin sophomore Madison Matney carried the torch for the Lady Bulldogs Wednesday night in a Class 2 Sectional game at Jeff City High School.
After a slow start against the Lady Rangers, Matney carried New Franklin on her back for the rest of the game while finishing with a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds in a 59-41 victory.
The Lady Bulldogs, improving to 21-7 on the season, will now advance to the quarterfinal round of the state tournament on Saturday, March 5th at Moberly Area Community College. New Franklin will face Scotland County, a 61-51 winner over Monroe City, starting at 12 noon.
New Franklin coach Ryan Lyons said each victory since the end of the regular season has been sweeter.
“First a solid win over Sweet Springs,” Lyons said. “Then an emotional victory over our rival Harrisburg. And tonight we won by almost 20 points over a tough district champion in Iberia. We are now one of only eight remaining teams in girls 2A basketball and it feels awesome, for myself and my assistant, and especially for my girls. Once again, they executed our plan to near perfection and attacked the paint, taking advantage of our size advantage and also did not force many bad shots from the perimeter.
“Our defense was very solid and got better throughout the game. I am so proud of the way my girls have matured over the past few weeks. We lost our last regular season home game by an embarrassing 30 points, and I was very frustrated at the time. But I remember a few days later wondering if it wasn’t a blessing in disguise…a wake‐up call that we must come ready to play and not think we’ve arrived at any point. I feel like my girls are just enjoying the ride at this point and giving a great effort. That’s all I can ask of them and they are responding well. We are very excited to play in Moberly on Saturday.”
With three players in double figures for the game, the Lady Bulldogs finally woke up from their nap in the second quarter by outscoring Iberia 12-8 to lead at the break by a score of 20-16. From that point on, New Franklin displayed the kind of team they could be by holding a 20-10 advantage in the third quarter to go up by 14 at 40-26. Meanwhile, in the final period, the Lady Bulldogs all but made it official by outscoring Iberia 19-15 to win the game by 18.
Cassie Armentrout also scored in double digits for the Lady Bulldogs with 12 points along with three rebounds and two steals. Jasmine Himmelberg had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds along with two assists and one steal. Kacie White added eight points, five rebounds and one steal while Grace Hundley chipped in four points, four rebounds, three assists and one steal and Molly Lyons with two rebounds, two assists and one steal.
The Lady Bulldogs also closed out the game hitting 17 of 38 shots from the field for 45 percent and 22 of 26 from the foul line for 85 percent.
For Iberia, Faith Duncan was the only player in double figures with 16 points.
Note: The winner of Saturday’s game will advance to the Final Four at Mizzou Arena in Columbia on Thursday, March 10th. Tip-off for the game is scheduled for 6:40 p.m.
The New Franklin-Scotland County winner will face the winner of Neelyville-Clopton in the semifinal round.
The championship game will be held on Saturday, March 12th at Mizzou Arena starting at 2:40.