Malden girls basketball secures No. 2 seed in Bootheel Conference Tournament, beats Campbell 47-42

Photo by Dustin Ward, staff
Campbell's Hannah Littrell attempts to block a shot by Malden's Arionne Ross in a varsity girls basketball game at Campbell Monday night.

CAMPBELL, Mo. - The Malden Green Wave varsity girls basketball team locked up the No. 2 seed in next week’s Bootheel Conference Tournament with its sixth straight conference victory Monday night.

Malden made 22 of 32 free-throw attempts as it beat the Campbell Camels 47-42.

“We won this game because we made free throws,” Malden coach Josh Herring said. “We ended up shooting 68 percent from the free-throw line and you cannot complain about that. It was a true team effort at the free-throw line tonight.”

Malden and Campbell were tied at 31-all with 5:05 left. Malden followed with a 13-3 run to move ahead 44-34 with 1:36 left and led by at least two possessions the rest of the way.

Seniors Madison Mittag and Arionne Ross helped fuel the Green Wave’s late surge. Mittag recorded eight of her 10 points and Ross scored all five of her points in the fourth quarter.

“Those are two seniors that have really been working hard for us,” Herring said. “Arionne played her first varsity game as a sophomore and has worked her tail off for three years with me. Mittag has done the same thing. She’s been a true leader. We are proud of the way those two stepped up tonight and we are going to hate to see them go after this season.”

Hot-shooting by junior Madison Saulsbery and freshman Brydon Maddox helped the Green Wave jump out to a 21-9 lead by the 3:28 mark of the second quarter. Saulsbery, who made eight of 10 free throws in the first half, scored 10 of her team-high 18 points before halftime. Maddox, who hit five 2-pointers in the first half, tallied 10 of her 11 points before halftime.

“They got something going the first half,” Herring said. “Brydon did a good job of hitting open shots and Saulsbery got some rebounds and got to the foul line.”

Campbell closed the gap quickly. The Camels ended the first half on a 9-3 run and opened the second half on a 7-2 run to cut Malden’s lead to 26-25 by the 2:21 mark of the third quarter.

“It was a fun one,” Campbell coach Laura Foster said. “We finally got our intensity to the level we needed it to be at to compete with Malden. But I thought not being able to finish a few shots around the rim was the difference in the game.”

Four Campbell players finished with at least six points.

Senior standout Gabby Nielson recorded 10 of her 13 points before halftime. She hit three of her squad’s five 3-pointers.

Junior guard Macy Hendrix and senior forward Adrionna Pearson each added eight points on four 2-point buckets. Pearson scored six of her eight points in the first half and Hendrix recorded all of her points in the fourth quarter.

Senior guard Madisyn Townsend hit a pair of 3-pointers after halftime to finish with six points.

“Campbell did a very good job of changing the speed of the game and slowing us down after the first quarter,” Herring said. “We didn’t really adjust very well in the third quarter. We only scored five points but kudos to them for coming out with a good game plan in the second half. We are happy to get out of here with a good road win tonight.”

Malden (7-9) finishes Bootheel Conference regular-season play 6-1. It will be the No. 2 seed in the Bootheel Conference Tournament that begins Monday at South Pemiscot. Holcomb, which handed Malden its only conference loss and is currently 6-0 in Bootheel Conference play, will be the No. 1 seed.

“We’ve looked really good in conference games,” Herring said. “But none of the games were very easy. We’ve pulled out the wins but I’m sure this conference tournament is going to be very tough.”

Campbell (4-11) hosts Senath-Hornersville in its final conference game Tuesday. Senath-Hornersville beat Campbell 49-38 Dec. 2 and Campbell beat Senath-Hornersville 54-43 Dec. 18. . The winner of the matchup will secure a sixth-place finish in the conference standings.

“Our team is battling a lot of adversity this season,” Foster said. “Some people know and some people don’t know what we are going through. Sometimes we are playing with different players from game to game. We are just trying to piece it together and see what works best that night. A lot of other teams already have that figured out by now but we are still piecing things together as the season goes. But I think we can still compete in this conference heading into the tournament, although our record may not show it.”

Scoring

MHS 13 11 5 18 — 47

CHS 7 11 7 17 — 42

Malden (47) — Madison Saulsbery 18, Brydon Maddox 11, Madison Mittag 10, Arionne Ross 5, Jada Townsend 2, Mallory Perkins 1. FG 13, FT 22/32, F 6. (3-pointers: none; Fouled out: None).

Campbell (42) — Gabby Nielson 13, Adrionna Pearson 8, Macy Hendrix 8, Madison Townsend 6, Marie Wheeler 4, Darcy Broglin 2, Hannah Littrell 1. FG 17, FT 3/7, F 19. (3-pointers: Nielson 3, Townsend 2; Fouled out: None).

Photo by Dustin Ward, staff
Malden freshman Brydon Maddox attempts a free throw in a varsity girls basketball game at Campbell Monday night.
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