The Sullivan basketball Lady Eagles are one of eight teams left standing in Class 4.
Sullivan (25-2) won in the sectional round Tuesday against Helias Catholic (15-13), 49-37. The game was played at Gibson Arena on the Missouri S&T campus.
“It was a little rough start for us,” Sullivan Head Coach Jordan Flora said. “We didn’t come out shooting the ball well. . . . That third quarter came around and we finally got our feet set and started hitting some big shots.”
The win sends Sullivan to the state quarterfinals to play undefeated Carl Junction (27-0) Saturday at 1 p.m. on the campus of Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar.
“I’m so excited,” Sullivan senior forward Mallory Shetley said. “Nobody from Sullivan has made it past where we are right now, so I’m hoping we can be the first team to do that.”
Sullivan has won multiple district titles in girls basketball, including three in the past four seasons, but has not been able to make it to a state semifinal.
Helias and Sullivan ended the first period Tuesday tied, 6-6.
The Lady Eagles trailed, 17-16, at halftime, but limited the Lady Crusaders to just two points in the third quarter and took a 33-19 advantage into the final eight minutes.
“I thought Mallory Shetley had a great first half and kept us in the game,” Flora said. “. . . We got in to her early. We couldn’t hit from outside, which it happens, but we kept feeding her inside and she had a heck of a game for us. She’s pretty tough in there and tough to defend.”
Shetley took over the game in the post, leading Sullivan with 28 points, her second-highest scoring total of the season.
“I was just doing my best to help my team,” Shetley said. “They were helping me out too. Just doing what I can.”
Rylee Denbow was next for Sullivan with seven points.
Kya Harbour and Hanna Johanning both netted six points.
Riley Lock finished with two points. Lock led the team in rebounds with nine before exiting midway through the fourth quarter with a knee injury. She also turned in three assists and one steal.
“She’s a tough girl,” Flora said. “She’s a big part of this team, so hopefully she will be back.”
Sullivan lost Harbour to her fifth personal foul within minutes of Lock’s injury, putting the Lady Eagles two starters down for the final minutes. Already playing with a double-digit lead at that point, Sullivan was able to close out the game without any further issue.
Shetley turned in five rebounds, Harbour four, Denbow two, Payton Dudley one and Johanning one.
Denbow passed out four assists. Johanning was credited with three assists and Harbour one.
Denbow made four steals. Shetley stole three. Harbour and Johanning both came away with two steals.
Shetley blocked two shots. Denbow blocked one.
Kylie Bernskoetter led Helias with 13 points, followed closely by teammate Lindsey Byers with 11.
Other scorers included Lainy Lamb (seven points), Ella Meyer (four) and Rylee Kolb (two).
While the loss ended the season for the Helias girls, the Helias boys won Tuesday at Missouri S&T against the Class 4 District 9 boys champion, Rolla, 51-37. The Crusaders (22-6) will play Webb City (17-9) Saturday in Bolivar, following the Sullivan-Carl Junction girls game.