Chaffee girls reach final of own basketball tournament

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Devils used a big fourth quarter to advance to Saturday's title game with a 51-44 win over East Prairie

CHAFFEE, Mo. -- Chaffee is in a place it's never been before -- the finals of the 36th Annual Lady Devils Invitational.

They can thank a freshman for that.

Julia Sutterfield was spectacular, netting 14 of her 27 points in the fourth quarter to propel the Devils to a 51-44 victory over East Prairie.

Sutterfield went 5 of 5 from the field and 2 of 2 from the charity stripe in the final quarter.

"I just got my head in the game," Sutterfield said. "I stepped up because Jordan [Pruitt] is coming off an injury and I was taking her place and got the right mindset."

The freshman put on quite a show in front of a boisterous home crowd to put Chaffee in a place they've never been.

"I realized what the stakes were," Sutterfield said. "It's the first time Chaffee's ever been in the championship."

It was a world of difference from the first half.

The teams came out sluggish with plenty of turnovers to go around.

The Eagles committed 10 turnovers in the first quarter and shot just 3 of 10 from the field.

The Devils were hardly better, tallying five give-a-ways and shooting just 1 of 13 from the field.

East Prairie led 6-4 after the first quarter.

"We weren't playing as well together as a team as we should have been in the first quarter and we came out kind of slow," Chaffee senior Ellie Sigman said. "We kept on trying to get each other pumped up, but it wasn't until the third quarter when we came out and started really doing well."

The second quarter provided little relief from the sloppy play. Both teams continued to struggle from the field and went into half tied at 14-14.

"Nerves," Chaffee coach Darrin Pruitt said about the poor play. "I got a good group of girls this year, and you're going to get nervous sometimes."

Both teams kicked it into gear in the second half.

East Prairie pulled within 25-23 before Sutterfield buried a trey and added a free throw 30 seconds later to put Chaffee up 29-23.

The Lady Eagles refused to crumble, clawing back to make it a 33-31 game heading into the fourth.

East Prairie received big contributions from Caitlyn Harwell and Kaitlyn Shands during the third quarter.

The two junior guards scored a combined 11 points to keep the Lady Eagles in the game.

Chaffee (3-2) pulled away in the fourth behind Sutterfield and pressure defense.

"It seems like a lot of times a lot kids are unable to dribble left-handed," Pruitt said. "So when you make other teams do something they're not comfortable with, then you force those turnovers, and it happens to us, too."

The two teams traded blows with East Prairie pulling ahead on a Harwell free-throw with 4 minutes, 32 seconds remaining.

Sutterfield immediately responded with a basket and Chaffee never looked back. Sutterfield scored the Devils first 14 points of the fourth quarter to put Chaffee up 47-41.

"She's a very good player," Pruitt said. "She's smooth. I have several girls capable of being in double digits, and they step up on different nights so it's kind of fun to watch."

Chaffee shot 5 of 11 from the field in the final frame and 6 of 8 from the charity stripe to seal the win.

"After the third quarter I was like, 'We got this,'" Sigman said. "We just started working together, and everything starting meshing and it was great."

Sigman provided an added scoring weapon for Chaffee. The senior forward finished with 12 points, several coming on offensive put-backs.

"I just watched the shot to see if it was going to be long or short and tried to get in front of people so I didn't over-the-back them," Sigman said.

The Devils, the tournament's sixth seed, will face off against the top-seeded Woodland Cardinals at 4:30 p.m. Saturday for the championship.

"[Chaffee has] never actually won the tournament," Pruitt said. "So it's a good place to be."

East Prairie681713 -- 44

CHAFFEE (51) -- Jordan Pruitt 7, Ellie Sigman 12, Adrienne Eichhorn 3, Julia Sutterfield 27, Lindsey Harrell 2. FG 18. FT 11-20. F 18. (3-pointers: Sutterfield 3, Eichhorn. Fouled out: none.)

EAST PRAIRIE (44) -- Rebekah Douglas 12, Caitlyn Harwell 17, Kaitlyn Shands 12, Lauren Magee 3. FG 17. FT 7-15. F 20. (3-pointers Harwell 2, Shands. Fouled out: Harwell.)

Consolation semifinal

Kelly 49, Delta 37

Logan Ivie scored 18 points for the Hawks in the consolation bracket.

Samantha Ratledge added seven points for Kelly (2-1). The Hawks will face Oran at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Machela VanGennip paced Delta with 16 points.


KELLY (49) -- Darbe Backfisch 1, Tessa Johnson 5, Stephanie Worth 2, Samantha Ratledge 7, Kristi Brucker 2, Tori Duenne 3, Payton Jones 4, Katie Koonce 6, Logan Ivie 18. FG 18, FT 10-19, F 14. (3-pointers: Johnson 1. Fouled out: None)

DELTA (37) -- Alysha Vessells 2, Tia May 2, Katie Nance 6, Machela VanGennip 16, Chasity Taylor 6, Jaime Hodge 5. FG 13, FT 8-12, F 13. (3-pointers: VanGennip 1. Fouled out: None)

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