The Crowder Lady Roughriders advanced to the semifinals of the Region 16 Tournament with their 82-51 win Tuesday night over Jefferson at Bob Sneller Gymnasium.
The Lady ‘Riders put six players in double figures — with a seventh one point short — and never trailed Tuesday night in their 13th home win of the season.
Tori Coulter, propelled by four 3-pointers, led the offense with 14 points, while Morgan Crawford scored 10 points in the second half to finish with 11 and the quartet of Maegan Bandimere, Michaela Mack, Alex Vogt, and Zahria White each produced 10 points.
White grabbed 10 rebounds to finish with a double-double, Elle Williams added nine points, Mack dished out five assists, and Crawford delivered three steals.
Izzy Ringling led all players with 16 points for a Jefferson squad that only played five all game. Shannyn Triplett added 15 points, Tyra Bonner 13, and Marta Perez-Gomez seven.
Crowder improved to 21-9 with the win and the Lady ‘Riders get a return match with Three Rivers at 3 p.m. Thursday at Jason Gym — the basketball facility of Lincoln University — in Jefferson City.
Three Rivers defeated Crowder 69-67 in the regular season finale Saturday, which put the two teams in a tie situation and Three Rivers won the coin toss — after the two teams were still even in all tiebreakers — to earn the No. 2 seed and opening round bye.
“We played well in spurts,” Crowder head coach Tina Wilson said. “I wasn’t pleased with some thing, but like you said, at this point, it’s survive and advance. That’s what we were able to do. We’re going to have to be better defensively the next two rounds if we’re going to advance, but we did what we needed to do in order to be able to play Thursday.
“Saturday, we struggled to make baskets. We shot 30 some percent and despite that, we still had a chance to win. We’ll go in with confidence and Coley (Ickes) should be good to go with her ankle sprain there. It’s going to take a total team effort. Everybody’s going to have to come to play, but I have confidence in this team that they can be successful.”
Ickes, after scoring six points early on a pair of threes, left the game Tuesday and did not return, but you can expect the sophomore guard back on the court Thursday.
In the loss Saturday, Crowder led Three Rivers 49-44 entering the fourth quarter, but the Lady Raiders outscored Crowder 25-18 in the fourth to secure the two-point win.
White had a double-double in that game with 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Vogt just missed on a double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds. Mack had six points, eight rebounds, and 11 assists before fouling out. Coulter hit for 11 points behind three 3-pointers.
DeNayia Holmes led Three Rivers with 23 points and made 12 free throws, and she added five rebounds, six steals, and three assists. Lakeita Chappel and Hailee Erickson added 12 and 10 points, respectively.
In the first meeting of the teams, played in Neosho, Crowder defeated Three Rivers 91-73 and Coulter led the way with 19 points behind five trifectas, while White had 17 points and eight rebounds, Vogt 16 points and six rebounds, Ickes 14 points, and Mack nearly finished with a triple-double with nine points, seven rebounds, and eight assists.
Five players on this season’s Crowder team — Ickes, Mack, White, Crawford, and Coulter — have the benefit of the experience of making it to the Region 16 championship game last season.
“Obviously, those sophomores are hungry to get back to that championship game and redeem themselves so to speak,” Wilson said. “We weren’t expected to get there last year and we did. I reminded our kids that we were picked fifth in the preseason poll by our coaches, so they have a little bit of a chip on their shoulder. I think they deserve a little more respect than they got, especially having five sophomores back and four returning starters. They’re hungry to win and hopefully, we can pull it all together this weekend.”
In the other Region 16 game Tuesday night, State Fair defeated defending champion Mineral Area 64-61. State Fair and unbeaten Moberly open the semifinals Thursday.
CROWDER 82, JEFFERSON 51
Jefferson 8 13 21 9 — 51
Crowder 20 22 22 18 — 82
JEFFERSON (5-19) — Tyra Bonner 13, Izzy Ringling 16, Marta Perez-Gomez 7, Shannyn Triplett 15.
CROWDER (21-9) — Coley Ickes 6, Tori Coulter 14, Sydney Linny 2, Maegan Bandimere 10, Aubrie Ayers 0, Bethaney Gilkey 0, Michaela Mack 10, Morgan Crawford 11, Alex Vogt 10, Elle Williams 9, Zahria White 10.
3-point goals — Jefferson 5 (Bonner 3, Perez-Gomez, Triplett), Crowder 7 (Coulter 4, Ickes 2, Williams).