Members of the Houston eighth grade girls' basketball team are, from left: Makayla Koch, Shelbi Cremer, Autumn Walker, Chloe Morning, Summer Neal, Alexis Shelton and Krista Scott. Back row: Sarah Kelley, coach John Jordan and assistant coach Jodie Tottingham.

After Ava hit a game-tying 3-pointer with one minute left in the championship game of the eighth grade girls’ tournament at Mountain Grove, Houston coach John Jordan called timeout. His team, which had led the entire way, suddenly found itself in a difficult spot.

“I told them during the timeout, ‘Girls, we are going to win this game. Which one of you is going to hit the game winner?'” Jordan said.

Shelbi Cremer spoke up.

“She looked me dead in the eyes and said, ‘Coach, I’m going to hit the game winner,'” Jordan said.

She did just that.

Cremer hit a 10-foot runner with about 30 seconds remaining, then stole the ball on the ensuing play and converted a lapup to seal the Lady Tigers’ 22-18 victory Friday night.

“These kids find a way to win,” Jordan said.

Autumn Walker led Houston (3-0) with seven points. Cremer scored four of her six points in the final 30 seconds.

Houston raced ahead 7-2 after the opening quarter and led 12-2 at the half. Ava closed the gap to four points entering the fourth quarter and tied it with a minute remaining.

“We need to play smarter in close game situations,” Jordan said, “but these girls are learning and find a way to win these close games.”

SEVENTH GRADE: Abby Casper scored 11 points and Jaydin Ramsey had 10 in the seventh grade girls’ 37-7 romp Friday of Ava.

Jaycee Huff and Alexis Dixon scored foinr points apiece for the Lady Tigers (2-1), who trailed 5-4 before outscoring Ava 16-0 in the second quarter to take a comfortable lead.

“These kids are quick and scrappy,” Jordan said. “They are fun to watch. They have gotten so much better these past two games.”

Box scores

EIGHTH GRADE

Houston     7  5  4  6   –    22
Ava  2  0  10  6   –    18

HOUSTON – Autumn Walker 7. Shelbi Cremer 6. Sarah Kelley 3. Krista Scott 2. Chloe Morning 2. Makayla Koch 2.

SEVENTH GRADE

Houston     4  16  9  8   –    37
Ava  5  0  2  0   –    7

HOUSTON – Abby Casper 11. Jaydin Ramsey 10. Jaycee Huff 4. Alexis Dixon 4. Alyssa Hayes 2. Stephanie Crewse 2. Megan Bell 2. Cassidy Robertson 2.

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