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Marion County Takes Brashear Girls Tourney
By David Sharp
Marion County overcame first half missed scoring chances and a determined Knox County effort for the girls’ championship of the 80th Annual Brashear Tournament. Randi Lee Plunkett extended a five point Lady Mustang lead to nine with a pair of driving buckets early in the fourth quarter. Plunkett and Morgan Spratt played much of the final period with four fouls.
Knox County (12-10) cut the Lady Mustang lead to three points when Katie Ausmus put back an offensive rebound for a 43-40 deficit with four minutes remaining in the contest.
Lorrie Peters took game scoring honors with a 17 point, ten rebound effort in a 57-49 Marion County victory. Jordan Johnson led four Lady Mustangs in double figures with a 13 point 12 rebound performance.
“I thought we fought really, really hard,” said Knox County coach John Weaver. “We had some mistakes that cost us, but that is a dang good team that we just played. They had four players score in double figures.”
Marion County (20-2, ranked fifth in Missouri girls Class 1) missed several inside shots during the first half. Knox County shoved their way through the open door to a 9-3 lead, followed by an 11-5 first quarter advantage.
Lightning quick Lady Mustang guards slashed to the hole and tied the game at 11. Knox County took an 11-9 lead into the second period. Lorrie Peters drove the rack igniting a streak of seven unanswered points. Myra Parrish tossed in a momentum changing home run ball followed by two Tessa Ramer free throws for an 18-11 lead with 3:32 showing on the second quarter clock.
The Lady Mustangs pulled within a 19-18 deficit with one minute to play in the first half. Jessica Redd sank a put back with 47 seconds to play, putting Marion County on top of a 20-19 halftime score.
The teams battled to a 25-23 Mustang lead with 5:45 left in the third quarter. Jessica Redd took advantage of a Knox County turnover for a 30-23 edge about a minute and a half later.
Marion County led 39-32 after three quarters of basketball. Randi Lee Plunkett picked up her fourth foul when Katie Ausmus completed a KCHS three point play with 20 seconds showing on the third quarter clock.
Morgan Spratt was whistled for her fourth foul at the 6:58 mark of the fourth quarter. Lorrie Peters sank two KC free throws, pulling Knox County back within a 39-34 deficit.
Randi Lee Plunkett finished two spectacular drives to the Knox County goal. The Marion County freshman put her team up 43-34 with 5:40 to play in the game. The field goals interrupted a Knox County rally, and were a turning point in the contest.
The Lady Eagles scored the next six unanswered points. Katie Ausmus grabbed a rebound and pulled her club within a 43-40 deficit with four minutes to play in the game.
Marion County sank eight of 14 fourth quarter free throws, and 13 of 23 (57%) on the night. Kayla Tuley and Lorrie Peters traded buckets around the three minute mark. Marion County led 47-42 with 2:32 to play in the game.
Randi Lee Plunkett sank two MC free throws for a 53-44 lead with 1:09 on the clock. Katie Ausmus fed Tessa Ramer for a three pointer, trimming the Mustang lead to 53-47 with 46 seconds to play.
Marion County scored the last four points, and won the Brashear Tournament girls’ championship for the first time since the 1988-89 school year. The Lady Mustangs held a 36-30 unofficial rebound advantage. Knox County turned the ball over 18 times, four fewer than their opponent.
Marion County held an 11-8 assist lead. Knox County stole the basketball 15 times to eight for the winning team. Marion County blocked five shots to none for Knox County unofficially.
Knox County had two steals in the last 60 seconds of the game but could not overcome the nine point fourth quarter deficit. “Lorrie Peters had a tremendous game. Katie Ausmus stepped up on the offensive end. If I had to do it all over again, there are not a lot of adjustments I would make besides crashing the boards,” said John Weaver.
“They played good. They were the better team tonight,” said Weaver of the fifth ranked Lady Mustangs. “That’s just a good 1A team that has a chance to go to the final four. We will be rooting for them. It all came down to rebounding.”
Randi Lee Plunkett scored 12 points with five Marion County assists. Morgan Spratt tossed in 11 points. Jessica Redd scored ten points with a game high 15 Marion County rebounds.
Katie Ausmus was in double figures with ten KCHS points. Ausmus recorded four assists and as many rebounds. The Lady Mustangs appeared to focus much of their defensive effort on Tessa Ramer, who scored nine points with three steals.
Amanda Woods scored eight points and pulled down 11 rebounds. Myra Parrish scored three points and Stacey Leckbee added two Knox County points.
The Lady Eagles have two key conference games coming up. Knox County hosts Schuyler County on February 17 for the KCHS senior night. Tessa Ramer and Amanda Woods will be honored along with the remaining Knox County winter sport seniors.
Knox County wraps up their conference basketball slate at Putnam County on Friday, February 20. Putnam County was unbeaten in girls’ conference play at last check. The Eagles enter the final week with 4-1 Tri-Rivers Conference records in boys’ and girls’ action.