In a defensive themed, non-conference affair that doubled as the opening contest of the six-game Gary Filbert varsity basketball Classic at Mexico on Saturday, the Community R-6 girls played Knox County.
Even though the Lady Trojans never dominated in this game, they did set the pace by taking leads over the Lady Eagles of 13-6 at the end of the first quarter and 24-19 at halftime on their way to claiming a 47-39 victory.
"It was evident both teams played on Friday. Both squads appeared a little drained," said Community R-6 coach Bob Curtis. "It was kind of a 12th round fight, honestly, but I think the difference was guts. Our kids in the last four minutes did a good job taking care of the ball and making their free throws in a close game. That was a big difference. Both treams are going to have good season. Knox County's Sidney Miller did a good job in the post. Playing back to back games isn't typical, and we had a real battle with North Callaway, so we definitely spent ourselves and it showed."
While Alissa Curtis didn't score any of her 12 points for CR-6 in the second quarter, Dalaney Bowers, who had 10 points for the game, did chart consecutive field goals to help give her team a 17-12 lead at 4:45. Natalie Thomas and Chelsea Hoyt then combined to score the Lady Trojans final five points of the session, which Knox County was only able to counter with baskets by Alyssa Peavler and Sidney Miller.
"We got to the paint and got to the line a little bit even though their a little bigger than us. We rebounded down the stretch, but give credit to Knox County. They have a nice team," Bob Curtis said. "Once we got the lead we just tried to take some time off the clock nd make our free throws. We've got some conference games this week, so beating Knox County is a solid start for us."
The third saw Knox County try and push the pace with a triple by Tadym Mason and a hoop from Riley Strange to nake it a four-point game. CR-6 responded with a run that included a free throw and a three pointer by Alissa Curtis that widened the gap to 34-24 at 1:01 before the Lady Eagles were able to minimize the damage down to 36-28 heading into the fourth.
"Alissa Curtis had a long week. She's seen the other teams best defender every night. That's nothing new for her," Bob Curtis said. "The fun part about this 17-18 team is they just refuse to quit and can have a 20-plus point quarter at any time with their offensive firepower."
For the Lady Trojans, 7-1 overall, Hoyt also had five points and scoring four was Morgan Bryant.
Knox County was led by Jessie Anderson with 11 points, Savannah Mauck managed six points and Strange chipped in with five points.
"Our Gary Filbert Game was a good one with Knox County and a familar face, Kelsea Dorsey, a Clopton Grad, as their head coach," said Bob Curtis. "With less than 24 hours between the end of the North Callaway game and beginning of the Knox County game we knew it could easily not be our a game. The Thunderbird game took a lot out of us and Knox County refused to go away, so we had to dig down deep."