Following a first-round victory over Smith-Cotton at the Rolla Girls Basketball Tournament, fourth-seeded St. Clair ended the event with a pair of losses to settle for fourth-place honors.
The Lady Bulldogs (6-4) lost Friday in the semifinals to top-seeded Hickman 57-13 and Saturday in the third-place contest to second-seeded Rolla, 55-49.
Hickman defeated third-seeded Waynesville Saturday in the championship game, 48-32.
St. Clair’s game with Rolla was close all the way.
The Lady Bulldogs had a 44-41 lead with six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, but managed just five points during the remainder of the contest.
“We had a lot of unforced errors and missed several shots inside for what should have been easy points. We missed a lot of free throws. We were 19-31 from the line, which is way more than the difference in the game,” said St. Clair Head Coach Jena Carroll. “When you have turnovers, miss easy shots and shoot poorly from the free-throw line, you allow the other team to stay in the game. Our mistakes never allowed for is to push ahead and extend a lead.”
Allison Hinson and Karissa Hoffman combined to score 33 of the Lady Bulldogs’ 49 points.
Hinson finished the game with 18 points, 12 in the second half. Hoffman added 15 points, 10 in the first half.
“Hoffman and Hinson both played really well and worked hard,” Carroll said. “They both stepped up offensively and did a solid job on defense.”
Alicia York pitched in with six points. Kayla Klenke added three points.
Emily Presley, Sam Deason and Katelyn Guehne each scored two points. Anna Reed had one point.
Rolla held leads of 11-9 after one quarter and 22-21 at halftime.
St. Clair took a brief 34-33 lead with 3:38 left in the third quarter on five straight points by Hinson.
Rolla regained the advantage after three quarters, 38-37.
A three-pointer by Hinson and a basket by Hoffman gave the Lady Bulldogs their 44-41 lead with six minutes to play.
St. Clair later tied the game 49-49 on another basket by Hoffman with 2:15 left to play, but that was the Lady Bulldogs’ final points of the game.
Trailing 52-49, the Lady Bulldogs had the ball with 37 seconds left on the clock, but a turnover all but ended their chances.
Playing against of the top girls basketball programs in the state, St. Clair lost to eventual tournament champion Hickman in the semifinals.
“Hickman is a big, strong, athletic team with a bench full of talent,” Carroll said. “We were not prepared to face that. We played defeated from the tip-off.”
The Kewpies led 20-2 after one quarter and 34-8 at halftime.
Presley and Reed both scored four points for St. Clair. Hoffman added three points. Klenke and Hinson both had one point.
“We have to look at this tournament as a chance for us to work on our weaknesses that have been exposed,” Carroll said. “We need to work harder and make the adjustments needed.”