Bootheel Conference Girls Basketball Semifinal: No. 4 Caruthersville upsets No. 1 Holcomb 78-57

Photo by Dustin Ward, staff
Caruthersville's Karmella Robinson penetrates against the Holcomb defense in a semifinal of the Bootheel Conference varsity girls basketball tournament Tuesday at South Pemiscot High School.

STEELE, Mo. - The Holcomb Hornets varsity girls basketball team dug itself an early hole for the second time in eight days against the Caruthersville Tigers Tuesday afternoon,

Caruthersville, which jumped out to a 15-5 lead against Holcomb on Jan. 28, enjoyed an eight-point lead in the first half four times in the second meeting between the two squads.

Unlike in Round 1 when Holcomb rallied for a 49-46 victory, Caruthersville found a way to finish things off in Round 2.

No. 4 seeded Caruthersville opened the second half on a 7-0 run to pad its lead to 42-31 with 6:01 left in the third quarter and hung on to beat No. 1 seeded Holcomb 78-57 in a semifinal of the Bootheel Conference Tournament at South Pemiscot High School.

“We did a good job coming out of the gates in both halves,” Caruthersville coach Bradley Sneed said. “I told them at halftime we couldn’t get too relaxed. I think the taste was still in their mouth from losing the lead against them and getting beat last week. You could tell they wanted it today and they got the job done.”

Caruthersville jumped out to a 5-0 lead when Keara Johnson knocked down a 2 and Latricia Hamilton followed with a 3 in the first quarter. The Tigers led by single digits the remainder of the first quarter and enjoyed a 19-16 lead at the start of the second quarter.

Holcomb (13-7) finally caught Caruthersville when Macy Houart hit a 2-pointer with 6:20 left in the first half to tie things up at 21-all. Bailey Cupples followed with a 2-pointer to give Holcomb its only lead at 23-21 with 5:25 left in the first half.

Caruthersville (7-8) scored the next 10 points in a spurt that included three 2-pointers by Hamilton to move back ahead 31-23 and continued to lead 35-31 at halftime.

The Tigers lead swelled as large as 53-37 with 1:20 left in the third quarter.

Holcomb cut the deficit as close as 58-53 when Selena Burress hit a 2-pointer with 4:46 left in regulation before Caruthersville padded the final margin to 21 points.

Caruthersville forward Keara Johnson tallied 10 2-point field goals on her way to a game-high 26 points.

“She can have a bad game and then come back the next night lights out,” Sneed said. “Last night she probably scored her career low with just four points. I challenged her to play the way she was capable of tonight and she did. She’s as fast as almost anyone around here and when she got the ball tonight she took off.”

Three other players scored at least 13 points for the Tigers. Hamilton tallied 20 points, Robinson recorded 15 points and Britney Jordan added 13 points.

“We’ve been working a lot with our guards,” Sneed said. “They’ve got a little frustrated with me at time and rightfully so. But they did a good job of handling the ball under pressure tonight. I was really proud of them. I'm proud of everybody.”

Junior guard Houart and junior forward Cupples scored in double digits for a second straight night for the Hornets. Houart, who hit both of her squad’s 3-pointers, finished with a team-high 19 points. Cupples added 17 points on seven 2-point field goals and three free throws.

The Tigers will play for the championship Friday at 6 p.m. at South Pemiscot High School.

"Hopefully we can get our legs back by Friday," Sneed said.

No. 4 Caruthersville 78, No. 1 Holcomb 57

CHS 19 16 19 24 - 78

HHS 16 15 12 14 - 57

CARUTHERSVILLE (78) Britney Jordan 13, Laticia Hamilton 20, Karmella Robinson 15, Keara Johnson 26, Taylan Bell 4. FG 33, FT 11/22, F 21. (3-pointers: Hamilton 1; Fouled out: None).

HOLCOMB (57) - Sarah Williams 8, Macy Houart 19, Alison Moody 2, Bailey Cupples 17, Selena Burress 7, Hannah Burk 4. FG 24, FT 7/19, F 20. (3-pointers: Houart 2; Fouled out: Burk).

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