Delta wins, advances to Class 1 girls semifinals

Sunday, March 16, 2003

WEST PLAINS, Mo. -- Delta's girls basketball team sealed a spot in Thursday's Class 1 state semifinals at Columbia's Hearnes Center after defeating Couch on Saturday.

Delta, 26-2 and ranked No. 2 in the state, defeated No. 8 Couch 53-40 at the West Plains Civic Center after losing in the quarterfinals the past two seasons, both times to Couch.

"It certainly wasn't a breeze, I'll tell you that much," Delta coach Randy White said.

Delta will play ninth-ranked Chilhowee at 7:55 p.m. Thursday.

In Saturday's win, Delta led Couch (17-4) throughout and built a six-point cushion at the end of the first quarter. Sarah M. Cook's basket late in the second quarter pushed Delta's lead to 22-11 before Couch cut it to 24-18 at halftime.

Delta's lead never grew smaller than six points in the second half, although Couch pulled to within seven -- 41-34 -- on a 5-0 run with three minutes left in the game. The Bobcats answered quickly and finished with a 12-6 run.

"The thing that really picked us up is the way our kids got on the boards," White said.

Rebecca Below finished with 19 rebounds to go along with her 16 points. Cook led Delta with 18 points.

April Redus led Couch with 19 points.

Kelly falls in Class 3 girls quarterfinal

FARMINGTON, Mo. -- The Kelly Hawks fell behind 12-0 and never could recover in a 60-36 Class 3 girls quarterfinal loss to John Burroughs at the Farmington Civic Center.

Kelly (23-6) battled poor shooting from the start against Burroughs (14-14) and finished at 12-of-65 from the field. That kept Kelly without a point until 3:43 remained in the first quarter. Dana Essner scored Kelly's first field goal a minute later.

Kelly trailed 27-18 at halftime and made it an eight-point game briefly in the third quarter. Burroughs answered and led by 13 points going into the fourth quarter, and the Hawks got no closer than 13 points in the fourth quarter.

Dana Essner scored 14 points and Kelly Essner had 11 for Kelly.

Elsewhere

Among Southeast Missouri schools, boys teams from Charleston and East Carter County advanced to the final four this week in Columbia.

In Class 2, East Carter County upset second-ranked Stoutland 78-47 in a quarterfinal at Park Hills. In Class 3, No. 2 Charleston defeated unranked Hancock 59-51 in a quarterfinal.

Greenville's girls team lost 52-43 to No. 7 Stoutland in a Class 2 quarterfinal.

At Columbia, Poplar Bluff's boys team lost to Parkway Central 69-65 in the Class 5 third-place game. Ben Hansbrough finished with 17 points, and Tyler Hansbrough had 16.

-- From staff reports

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