Delta remains perfect

Friday, February 16, 2007
Kelly's Debra Hall, left, played defense against Delta center Kayla Seabaugh during Thursday night's game at Delta High School. (Kit Doyle)

With senior guard Kaci Menz providing the clutch baskets and reserve Sara Blattel controlling the boards, Delta's girls basketball team preserved its unblemished record with a 50-42 win Thursday over visiting Kelly.

Menz led all scorers with 19 points, while Blattel added six points and provided the Bobcats with numerous second-chance opportunities.

"We had some big plays, but I don't think there were any bigger than Sara Blattel coming off the bench and blocking off the [Debra] Hall girl," Delta coach Randy White said. "She did a heck of a job on the boards for us."

Delta improved to 22-0 with two regular-season games remaining. The Bobcats, ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 1, will visit Ste. Genevieve Valle on Monday and host state-ranked Scott County Central on Thursday.

"I'll be very honest with you, we don't even talk about that," White said. "That's unimportant. What we talk about is the next opponent, and what we have to do to beat that opponent."

Kelly, ranked No. 6 in Class 3, put a scare into the Bobcats with a late fourth-quarter run. Delta led by as many as nine points in the fourth quarter, including 45-36 with 1:45 remaining, but the Hawks (18-6) cut the lead to 45-42 with 51.6 seconds remaining.

Delta broke the press for an uncontested layup to go ahead 47-42, and the Bobcats were able to get a steal on the next possession to ice the game. The Hawks fell to 1-2 on the week, but their three opponents this week have a combined record of 56-9.

"Rebounding was the key tonight, and Delta did an excellent job of that," Kelly coach Rod McQuerter said. "I want to give my kids credit. You don't play three state-ranked teams and play the way we did.

"We have probably the toughest 3A schedule in Southeast Missouri, and we have the toughest 3A schedule for a reason -- to prepare for district."

The matchup of state-ranked teams started slow, as Delta led 16-14 at halftime. Delta picked things up in the third quarter, starting with an 8-0 run to go ahead 24-14.

Delta maintained its double-digit spread for much of the third quarter, as both teams began to pick things up on the offensive end. Both teams either matched or exceeded their first-half scoring in the third quarter alone, with Delta up 37-28 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Hawks quickly chipped away at the lead in the fourth, cutting the lead to 39-34 two minutes into the quarter. Kelly had a chance to cut the lead to three points with more than three minutes remaining but missed a layup.

Bobcats sophomore Jodi Menz came up big in the second half, scoring all 10 of her points.

"We also got a big lift from Jodi Menz tonight," White said. "We've been waiting for Jodi to have a game like this. She has tremendous potential."

Kayla Cissell led the Hawks with 14 points. Brittany Ponder added 11 points.

Delta 50, Kelly 42

Kelly591414--42
Delta1062113--50

KELLY (42) -- Kayla Cissell 14, Brittany Ponder 11, Debra Hall 7, Londyn Backfish 4, Katee Moore 2, Sarah Ruff 2, Ashley Vetter 2. FG 17, FT 8-12, F 17 (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: none)

DELTA (50) -- Kaci Menz 19, Jodi Menz 10, Sarah Keys 6, Sara Blattel 6, Ashley Deprow 4, Shea Smith 2, Kayla Seabaugh 2, Tiffany Amelunke 1. FG 20, FT 7-14, F 12 (3-pointers: K. Menz 2, Keys 1. Fouled out: none)

JV -- Kelly won 37-33.

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