Back on the bus.
For the third game in a row, the New Haven Lady Shamrocks will be heading to a hostile environment Saturday.
New Haven (18-9) plays Northeast of Cairo (23-6) at 1 p.m. at Moberly Area Community College with the winner getting a berth to the MSHSAA Class 2 semifinals in Springfield.
“We’ve got another big long bus trip Saturday to Moberly,” Peirick said. “We’ll take our chances.”
Once again, the Lady Shamrocks will be playing against a team which figures to have a massive crowd. The Lady Shamrocks won their district championship game at Elsberry Feb. 23, 57-26.
New Haven went on the road Wednesday to Hannibal (111 miles) and defeated a much closer South Shelby team (46 miles) which outnumbered New Haven supporters by at least a three-to-one margin, 55-44.
This time, New Haven has a 113-mile trip compared to an eight-mile commute for the Lady Bearcats and their fans.
Neither was planned as home contest for the opposition, but it’s just the way the MSHSAA bid process worked out this year.
Peirick will lean heavily on his “Iron Five” once again. New Haven’s senior group of Emily Scheer, Lauren Gerlemann, Emma Engelbrecht, Kate Ruediger and Mackenzie Bauer will get the majority of the minutes, if not all of them, on the floor.
That group has excelled at every sport. Many of them have been members of last year’s Class 1 state champion girls track team. Four of them have won relay or individual state titles. Ruediger has signed for track and field at Mizzou while Engelbrecht has signed with Lindenwood University to play volleyball. Two of the others, Gerlemann and Scheer, have broken the 1,000-point plateau this season.
Four of the five played in multiple Class 1 state volleyball tournaments.
The Cairo team knocked down eight three-point baskets for the game Wednesday against Sturgeon. The Lady ’Cats trailed early in the fourth quarter before coming back to win, 46-40.
Seven players have seen action in all 27 games so far.
Junior Mackenzie Dubbert leads the team with 18.8 points per game. She has knocked down 64 three-point shots and shoots at a 30-percent clip from outside the arc. She also averages 5.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. She is second on the team in steals with 65.
Junior Keegan Ryan is the other big three-point shooter for the Lady ’Cats. She has hit 36 shots from beyond the arc. She averages 11.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Ryan is the team leader in steals with 76.
From there, it’s a drop to Kayla Koester, who averages 5.6 points, eight rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. She is third on the team in steals with 56 and leads the team with 20 blocked shots.
Senior Brynn Winkler averages 4.8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. She has logged 48 steals and 15 three-point baskets.
Sophomore Taegan Bartolacci averages 4.3 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. She also has 24 steals.
Junior Corinne Canote is the other big three-point threat. She’s hit 27 shots from outside the arc this season. She averages 4.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. She has logged 24 steals.
Marissa Jochem averages 3.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per contest.
New Haven and Cairo have one common opponent, South Shelby.
New Haven’s sectional opponent dominated Cairo in the Dec. 29 game, 75-53.
Like New Haven, Cairo was not ranked in the final Missouri Basketball Coaches Association Class 2 state poll.