The Otterville Lady Eagles basketball team had plenty of reasons for wanting to beat No. 1 Bunceton Saturday in the championship game in the Otterville Holiday Classic.
After losing to the Lady Dragons in the season opener 66-52 back on Dec. 3, the Otterville girls have since gone 8-2 on the season.
So it was only fitting that Saturday’s game was on the Lady Eagles home floor.
As it turned out, Otterville was more than up for the challenge while leading Bunceton from start to finish for a 48-30 victory.
The win improved Otterville’s record to 8-3 overall while Bunceton dropped to 7-4.
Bunceton coach Dustin Ray said as to be expected, the Otterville girls came out with some fire ready to play.
“We gave a second place effort, played with second place intensity, and showed second place heart,” Ray said. “We fell short due to low shooting percentages.  We did exactly what we were supposed to do on the defensive side of the ball, but didn’t play up to our standards overall.”
Of course neither team was up to their standards in the first quarter. The only difference is that Otterville was a little better on the offensive end by outscoring Bunceton 6-4.
But as expected, the Lady Eagles picked it up offensively for the rest of the game and outscored Bunceton 15-5 in the second period to lead 21-9 at the break.
While closing out the second quarter on a 7-0 run, Otterville also scored the first-four points of the third period to extend its lead over Bunceton to 16 at 25-9.
Of course the shooting woes continued for the Lady Dragons in the third quarter. After hitting only 3 of 18 shots from the field in the first half, Bunceton managed only five again in the third quarter to trail Otterville 37-14.
However the Lady Eagles deserve some credit. They hit their shots when they had to and Bunceton continued to struggle in the second half by hitting just 2 of 11 shots in the third period.
Down 23 with eight minutes remaining, the Lady Dragons showed some fight in the final period by reeling off six straight points to cut the lead to 17 at 37-20.
Bunceton also outscored Otterville 16-11 in the final period. However it was too little too late as the Lady Eagles maintained a double-digit lead for the rest of the quarter.
Katie McKinney led all scorers in the game for Otterville with 14 points while Carrie Jo McKinney chipped in 10. Josie Neal finished with eight points.
For Bunceton, Kelsey Watson had 10 points, four rebounds and one steal. Ashlyn Twenter added nine points, two rebounds, one steal and one assist while Chloe Moser had six points, 11 rebounds, two steals and one assist, Madelynn Myers three points, two assists and one rebound, Madison Brown one point, four rebounds and two steals, Cara Bishop one point, three rebounds and two steals and Maggie Wood with three assists, two rebounds and one steal.