The Van Buren Lady Pointers defeated the Neosho Lady Wildcats 46-33 in the final pool play game of the Neosho Holiday Classic on Friday at Neosho Middle School.
The Lady Wildcats started the night slightly off-kilter, as they were forced to play without one of their top offensive threats, Chelsey Henry, who did not play in the game.
Neosho outscored the Pointers 11-7 in the first quarter as Morgan Rathmann picked up five points, Morgan Rogers two and Matty Liedtke three in the period.
The beginning of the second quarter bought a change in the direction of the game, however. Neosho connected on just one of 10 shots from the floor, and Van Buren began to pull away. The Pointers’ Kaylee Sheppard hit two three-point shots, and the team started feeding their two centers, Maria Santillana and Makenzie Glassco, the ball as they combined for six more points in the second quarter.
By halftime Van Buren moved in front, 24-16.
"We were spotty, like we've been in the past,” Wildcats coach Lance Robbins said. “We made some good shots, but they just didn't drop for us tonight."
Santillana gathered more steam scoring nine of Van Buren’s 12 points in the third quarter. The Lady Pointers increased their lead from eight points at the half to sixteen by the end of the third quarter, 36-20.
"There were times when I had a 5' 7" player facing off on 6' 2" Santillana,” Robbins said. “(Our player) did a good job, but that's a big task to ask of any player, and Santillana's got a light touch — she'd shoot and make it. We just couldn't handle it, tonight.”
Neosho went on to outscore VanBuren in the fourth quarter 13-10, with Rathmann being responsible for 11 of the 13 points. Even with Rathmann's run and Van Buren's Maria Burgous fouling out with 5:02 on the clock, Neosho could not dig out of the hole.
Santillana led Van Buren with 20 points while Kaylee Sheppard turned in nine, Michelle Faucher one, Maria Burgos six, Jessica Smith four, Jordan Outlaw two and Glassco four.
Like Santillana, Rathmann also rattled in 20 points while teammates Brooke Stauffer, Corea Lowery and Addi Long had one, Liedtke six, Kylee Belcher two and Morgan Rogers two.