Lady Tigers beat Ozark, Lebanon to advance to semifinals against Republic at Pink & White Invitational

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Carthage's Kianna Yates (24) drives around her defender in a matchup earlier this season. David Hoover / CNO

CHS vs. Ozark Monday, Dec. 27, 2021

The Tigers were paced by Senior Kianna Yates who finished with a game-high 25 points, including five 3-pointers, during the opening round of the Pink & White Invitational Monday, Dec. 27, 2021 in Springfield. Carthage had three players score double figures in the 56-49 win over the Ozark Tigers.

“We battled a tough Ozark team for 32 minutes. I’m so proud of the girls effort and energy today,” Carthage Head Coach Scott Moore said.

The Tigers jumped out to an 18-12 lead over Ozark in the first quarter only to see that turn to a deficit of 27-31 at the halfway point.

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Carthage’s defense buckled down in the in the opening of the second half allowing only 2 points in the third quarter, while getting baskets from Maggie Boyd and Daniela Marquez. The Tigers outscored Ozark 11-2 during the third period, which included Yates going a perfect 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.

“We brought a young team to this tournament, so our execution wasn’t always crisp,” said Moore. “However, we took good care of the basketball and made enough good plays to pull out the win.”

Three pointers from Lauren Choate and Yates in the fourth quarter helped seal the win for the Lady Tigers. Boyd and Sophie Shannon added 10 points apiece behind Yates, followed by 5 points from Choate and 4 points from Marquez. Landry Cochran added 2 points to round out the scoring for Carthage.

“Kianna Yates was the best player on the floor today and she took control of things from the opening tip. She plays with such confidence and poise, and that rubs off on the younger players. Her composure allows everyone else to play loose and free,” added Moore. “Maggie and Sophie gave us solid double figures on the offensive end and great effort on the defensive end. It was nice to see them step up on both ends of the floor.”

CHS vs. Lebanon Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021

The Tigers faced an uphill battle after falling behind 18-9 after the first quarter. They were able to outscore Lebanon 20-16 in the second quarter to tighten the deficit to only 5 points at the half. The third quarter saw the teams trading basket for basket as each scored 14 points to keep the game at a 5-point margin at the start of the fourth and final quarter.

The Tiger defense made a stand in the deciding quarter as they outscored the Bluejackets 14-8 to come out on top 57-56, sending Carthage to a semifinal matchup against Republic at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 29 at the O’Reilly Center in Springfield.

“Huge win for the program today. The girls played so hard against an undefeated Lebanon team. We controlled the pace of the game from the tip to the final buzzer,” said Carthage Coach Scott Moore. “I’m so proud of how hard these girls are playing right now. They are so fun to coach and the fans are really enjoying our brand of basketball.”

Carthage was again paced by Senior Kianna Yates who scored 22 points.

“Kianna Yates is a constant catalyst for our team and she’s playing amazing basketball right now,” added Moore. “When she’s in control, the rest of the girls feed off of her energy and we get to another level.”

Maggie Boyd added 15 points, including a late 3-pointer in the game and went a perfect 4-for-4 from the line. Lauren Choate finished with 8 points, Daniela Marquez added 6 points and Landry Cochran and Trisha Kanas added 3 points apiece.

“Freshman Maggie Boyd had a great game today. She plays so hard on both ends of the floor and in positions 1-4 for us. Her activity and position flexibility allows us to play big or small whenever we want,” said Moore.

“Fellow freshman Lauren Choate raised her game today and hit a couple of crucial threes for us. She was slowed by an early season injury and is just now getting up to full varsity speed. She will continue to improve with every minute she plays,” added Moore. “Junior Daniela Marquez is providing great energy for us. She’s getting a ton of rebounds, loose balls and steals. Not always showing up under her name in the scorebook, but definitely helps us win these competitive games.”

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