By Rob Kiser
PITSBURG — There may be a few teams who win more games than Versailles girls basketball team in the regular season.
Facing Jacki Stonebraker’s squad come February and March is a scary proposition.
The Lady Tigers continued towards another long tournament run in a Franlin Monroe D-III sectional final Saturday, defeating Middletown Madison 64-41 at the Hangar.
Versailles, 20-5, will play Waynesville in a D-III district final at 1 p.m. Saturday at Springfield High School.
And the Lady Tigers success is not by accident
“It all starts with the junior high program,” Stonebraker said. “My assistants do a great job with scouting and everything else — you see some of the junior high coaches sitting on the bench so they can teach the same things we are doing. Everything we do during the season is to get ready for the postseason.”
To Middletown Madison’s credit, the Lady Mohawks 2-1-2 zone gave the Lady Tigers some early problems.
But, two threes by Kristin Langston and another three by Kami McEldowney helped Versailles open an 11-4 lead.
“Those were big shots,” Stonebraker said. “That helped loosen the zone up a little bit. They had to come out further and we were able to get the ball inside.”
The Rams battled back to within 13-11 late in the first quarter.
But, the speed of Kami McEldowney and Camille Watren created some easy baskets in transition in the second quarter as Versailles outscored Madison 26-7 to open a 41-18 halftime lead and put the game away.
“Second quarter has been a good quarter for us,” Stonebraker said. “We felt like coming in the transition game was going to be big for us today. We were much better off pushing the ball down the floor and not letting them get setup in the zone.”
Versailles still led 51-34 after three quarters and was never seriously challenged in the second half.
McEldowney led the Tigers offense with 15 points.
Danielle Winner had 13 points — nine in the second half — and pulled down five rebounds, while Lauren Monnin had 10 points and seven rebounds.
Kelli Bush led Madison with 19 points and nine rebounds.
Versailles was 27 of 59 from the floor for 45 percent and six of 12 from the line for 50 percent.
Middletown Madison was 16 of 33 from the floor for 49 percent and seven of 11 from the floor for 64 percent.
Versailles won the battle of the boards 24-23 and had 16 turnovers to the Mohawks 26.
Most importantly, the Lady Tigers have more games to play.
“It comes down to the underclassmen realizing every game could be their final game of the season and stepping up,” Stonebraker said.
Which led to another win Saturday — when it counts most.
Kami McEldonwey 6-2-15, Camille Watren 3-1-7, Kristin Langston 2-0-6, Danielle Winner 6-1-13, Lauren Monnin 5-0-10, Ellen Peters 2-0-4, Kami Ording 1-0-3, Clair Schmitmeyer 0-2-2, Emily Marshal 0-0-0, Logan Shimp 2-0-4, Emily Langenkamp 0-0-0, Elizabeth Ording 0-0-0. Totals: 27-6-64.
Middletown Madison (41)
Lillie Runnels 1-0-3, Hunter Whiteman 2-2-6, Ally Hoskins 0-0-0, Katy Canter 1-3-5, Kelli Bush 8-2-19, Kaleigh Dietz 3-0-6, Hannah Clements 0-0-0, Lily Campbell 1-0-2. Totals: 16-7-41.
3-point field goals — Versailles: Mceldowney, Langston (2), Ording. Madison: Runnels, Bush.
Score By Quarters
Versailles 15 41 51 64
Madison 11 18 34 41
Records: Versailles 20-5.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.