A season of ups and downs ended on a sour note Tuesday, as the Houston High School girls basketball team was defeated 74-45 by Thayer in a first round game of the Missouri State High School Activities Association Class 3 District 10 Tournament at Mansfield.
Seeded second in the event’s 6-team field, the Lady Bobcats wasted little time in setting the tone for the contest, jumping out to leads of 7-0 and 12-2 early in the first quarter. The No. 6 Lady Tigers then trailed 27-13 at the end of the period and were down 44-23 at halftime.
Thayer packed the lane with a 2-3 zone much of the way, preventing Houston’s strong interior offense from becoming much of a factor. Meanwhile, the Lady Bobcats employed crisp ball movement on their offensive end to score frequently from the inside, while also often kicking the ball out to open perimeter shooters, who combined for a whopping 11 3-pointers.
Senior forward Olivia Crites closed out her high school hoops career by leading the Lady Tigers in scoring with 17 points, while senior guard Aliyah Walker knocked down three treys and finished with 9. Sophomore forward Sophia Crites scored 7 points for Houston (all in the second half), while senior Makenzi Arthur, junior Angie Smith and freshman Kynlee Weaver added 4 apiece.
The Lady Bobcats’ balanced scoring attack was led by a trio of sophomores, as guard Abbygail Bowers sank four 3-pointers and totaled 18 points, guard Joslyn Tucker drilled five treys and had 17 and forward Hadley Meyer converted seven baskets from short range and also had 17.
The Lady Tigers finished the season with an overall record of 14-13 and went 3-4 in South Central Association conference play.