A promising start to the Region XVI Showdown turned sour for the host Lady Raiders.
Three Rivers opened with a 5-0 run over the first 3 minutes of the game, but the offense went cold for much of the rest of the first half. Three Rivers fell to 1-2 in the Region XVI Showdown following a 71-63 loss to Moberly Area on Friday at the Libla Family Sports Complex.
"I wish we had a couple more minutes to play them because we started figuring it out at the end," said Three Rivers' Katelyn South, who finished with eight points and one rebound. "We outscored them 40-29 in the second half, but the first half we didn't have any momentum. They were on fire coming out and we were in a slump."
Moberly Area (10-2) went on a 17-2 run to go ahead by double figures less than 4 minutes after spotting Three Rivers (8-3) the first five points.
Chaylea Mosby made a 3 early in the second quarter that cut the Greyhounds' lead to seven points, but Moberly answered with a three-point play that kickstarted a 9-2 run.
They then outscored Three Rivers 9-4 in the closing minutes to build a 19-point lead at halftime.
For the Lady Raiders, 23 points were the second-fewest points in a half they've scored this season.
"We didn't really come together as a team. It was kind of playing every man for themselves. When we figure that out, nobody can stop us. But as of now, it's not clicking, as well," said Three Rivers' Hannah Thurmon, who had six points, six rebounds and four blocks.
They scored 21 points in a low-scoring first half against Mineral Area during the first part of the Showdown, but were only down two points at the break and then scored 21 points in the third quarter before eventually losing 61-60.
"Of our three losses, it's eight possessions somewhere in that first half. And that's where you've got to be mentally stronger than your opponent, and we're not there yet," Three Rivers coach Jeff Walk said. "That's what seperates the top-10 from everybody else, is that mental toughness when you've got to dig your heels in and not let them do what they want to do to you."
The Lady Raiders were 10 for 30 (33.3%) shooting in the first half and 1 for 7 (14.3%) on 3-pointers while Moberly shot 46.9% in the first half and was 5 for 12 (41.7%) on 3-pointers. The tides flipped in the second half, with Three rivers shooting 48.1% and Moberly shooting 33.3%, but the Greyhounds made five more free throws in the game and three extra 3-pointers. At the final buzzer, Moberly shot 1% better from the field.
"We were down," South said. "We just kept missing and missing, and one miss led to an ugly, crappy shot and we just couldn't get it together."
Both teams made 23 field goals for the game. Three Rivers had one extra shot attempt and Moberly had one extra free-throw attempt.
Deanay Watson led Three Rivers with 10 points and eight rebounds.
Three Rivers' offense picked up in the third quarter. The Lady Raiders quickly cut Moberly's lead to 13 points.
With under a minute left in the quarter, Yelder found Pettus under the basket, cutting the lead to single digits for the first time since Mosby's 3 early in the second quarter. Moberly answered with one last bucket to take an 11-point lead into the fourth quarter,
It took until the 2:30 mark of the fourth quarter for Three Rivers to get within single digits again. Down 10 points, Watson putback an offensive rebound to cut the lead to eight points. Watson scored through a foul a minute later to cut the lead to seven. The Raiders fouled late, but wouldn't get any closer.
"Moberly had us down 17 in the Region XVI Championship and we came back and beat them," Walk said. "If I'm (Moberly Area coach Hana Haden), I'm reminding those kids every day that you had them down 17 and they still beat you. So we're getting everybody's best game, and we've yet to play four quarters."
Moberly's Chatori Tyler matched her season high of 18 points after (3-point stats). She had 15 points in the first half. Her previous season high was 18 points, Metropolitan Community College and she went into the Showdown averaging 10.5 points.
Moberly's leading scorer DeAnna Wilson, who is averaging 16.7 points, scored 16 points and 11 rebounds despite getting into early foul trouble. She played 30 minutes before fouling out with 4 minutes left in the game and the Greyhounds ahead by 12.
Bryce Dowell also had 16 points and seven rebounds.
Three Rivers will play Jefferson tomorrow and State Fair on Sunday, both at 5 p.m., to conclude its schedule in the Region XVI Showdown.
Scott Borkgren - Daily American Republic