New Madrid Co. Central Downs Naylor For Third At LRC

Kennett's Kyra Jaco and Twin Rivers' Drew Love dive for a loose ball during Saturday's fifth-place final game at the Lady Royals Christmas Classic at Broseley. Kennett held on for a 39-35 win.
Ron Smith

BROSELEY - With both teams coming off exhausting down-to-the-wire losses in Friday's semifinals, Saturday's third place battle at the Lady Royals Christmas Classic could fittingly be called the 'survival of the fittest game.'

New Madrid Co. Central took the third-place trophy and the unofficial title of fittest in running past the Naylor Eagles 49-29.

Naylor led 7-6 after one quarter before the NMCC used a tight press for a 9-0 run midway through the second quarter to take a 22-16 lead at the half.

Naylor (7-5) struggled offensively in the second half and closed with just four points in the fourth quarter.

Ayannah Ruff led NMCC (8-3) with 16 points and Shakyra Wright hit for 14 to both land a spot on the all-tournament team. Danielle Shepherd led Naylor with eight points while McKenzie Crofford and Ebby Moman both hit for six. Crofford also was selected to the all-tournament team.

Naylor lost in the semifinals to Doniphan 46-37 in a game that was close until the final minutes.

Adding to Naylor's offensive woes was the loss of top scorer Kaylynn Johnson, who played sparingly due to an illness after missing the semifinal game.

"We have to learn to come play hard every night. We didn't get ourselves motivated and I didn't do a good job getting them motivated, said Deckard.

"I was concerned that after a game like last night that we would come out flat, and we did," said NMCC coach Toby Heeb, whose team dropped a hard fought 55-53 battle in the semifinals to tournament champion Neelyville. "Our players gave it all they had last night but I was proud of them bouncing back pretty good in this one."

_Kennett 39,Twin Rivers 35_

The Kennett Indians earned the fifth-place trophy on Saturday at the LCS with the same score from Friday's semifinal win over Charleston and in very similar fashion. Kyra Jaco and Caroline Patton combined to hit 4 of 6 free throws in the final 2:13 to hold off the host Twin Rivers Royals 39-35 to take home a trophy. On Friday, the Indians scored their final five points all from the free throw line to beat Charleston 39-35.

Patton led the Indians (6-5) with 16 points and Anelle Harris added six.

Twin Rivers fell behind 10-0 after one quarter and trailed 21-9 at the half before pulling back within two points late in the fourth quarter. Trailing by three with 22 seconds left, the Royals missed from three-point distance with six seconds on the clock and Patton added a final free throw for Kennett.

Abbey Hester led the Royals with 16 points and Jaylynn Williams scored seven points.

_Kelly 52, East Carter 48_

Alaney Moore scored 28 points and Allison Owens added 14 to give the Kelly Hawks the consolation trophy Saturday with a win over East Carter.

Kelly jumped out to a 15-12 lead and never trailed. Freshman Brooklyn Kearbey kept the Redbirds in the game with her 24 points, including 14 in the second half.

Kelly improved to 6-5 while East Carter fell to 4-4.

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