Lady Eagles Dominate Second Half To Reach Quarterfinals
Sullivan erupted for 17 straight points through the third and fourth quarters Tuesday night to build up a big lead and eventually oust Helias 49-37 in a Class 4 sectional game at Missouri S&T.
After getting off to a slow start, the Lady Eagles outscored Helias 17-2 in the third quarter and carried their run into the final period.
Over a span of three minutes, Sullivan exploded for 13 points, going from down one to up 12.
The victory sent the Lady Eagles (25-2) to the quarterfinals against undefeated Carl Junction, their first appearance in the final eight since 2013.
Mallory Shetley scored 28 points to lead Sullivan and at one point, she totaled more points than Helias.
Helias' attempts to slow her down were as futile as Rolla's in the district championship game. The Crusaders threw everything at her, but she still found a way to put up points, even falling to the floor and scoring in the fourth quarter.
She scored the team’s first eight points as Sullivan battled through an early shooting slump.
They missed their first five shots and even after Shetley put them on the board with 4:55 left to play in the first quarter, were left searching for answers in a gymnasium where the rims come up from the floor against a high backdrop.
Sullivan kept plugging away and never looked rattled.
The two teams ended the first quarter tied at 6, with the Lady Eagles knotting it up on a lob to Shetley.
They traded baskets early in the second quarter. Kylie Bernskoetter put Helias ahead 8-6 on a pair of free throws, but Shetley threw up an off-balance shot to tie it up. Bernskoetter’s three-point play pushed the Crusaders back ahead.
After a basket by Lock with 3:12 remaining, Lindsey Byers stepped out for a 3-pointer to open a 14-10 lead.
Harbour provided a jolt with her first 3-pointer, but Helias stayed in front with two free throws by Byers.
Denbow tied the game with one free throw, grabbed the rebound on her miss and got back to the line. She hit one of two to make it 16-16.
Lainy Lamb would send the Crusaders into the break with a single free throw at the 3-second mark.
Helias would fade from there.
Shetley put the Lady Eagles on top with a basket just 12 seconds into the second half. Byers hit a runner to give Helias a 19-18 lead, but it was all Sullivan from that point.
After Shetley scored, Harbour slipped through a screen, popped open in the corner and nailed a 3-pointer to give the Lady Eagles a 23-19 lead. Johanning knocked down a 3 on Sullivan’s next trip down, then Shetley led a fast-break to give the Lady Eagles a 28-19 lead.
With the game drifting away, Helias looked rattled. The inbound after Shetley’s basket went straight to the waiting arms of Denbow, who dribbled out to the 3-point line and jacked up an uncontested shot. It sank through and served as the knockout blow. Helias called a timeout, but it was too little, too late.
The Lady Eagles began the fourth quarter up 33-19. Shetley scored the first nine points of the period for Sullivan. They led 42-22 with 4:02 to play.
Helias would get as close as 11 with 2:21 after Harbour fouled out and Lock left the game with what appeared to be a knee injury.
Read more on this story in the March 18 issue of the Independent News.