After a brief hiatus because of Icemageddon 2013, the Melissa girls got back to work this week, taking on stout competition at the Fairfield Tournament and then taking down North Lamar at home on Dec. 17.

The Lady Cardinals topped a top-15 squad and the defending 3A State Champs before falling to No. 10 Fairfield. They now sit at 10-1 on the season.

Melissa will have another break until after Christmas when it participates in the Sherman Tournament beginning on Wed., Dec. 26.

Melissa 57, North Lamar 40

In its last home game of 2013, Melissa played host to Paris North Lamar and won with ease after taking complete control of the game in the opening quarter. Whitney Taylor accounted for over a third of the team’s points, finishing with 21.

The Lady Cardinals started strong, taking an 18-7 lead in the opening quarter, and were able to hold on to a 10-point advantage going into the locker room at halftime.

Melissa’s defense helped it open up the game and build a nearly 20-point lead going into the final quarter.

Katie Webb and Cat Whitten were both big parts of the win, finishing the game with 11 points each.

The Lady Cardinals held on late, cruising to the 17-point win to get their tenth win of the season.

Other Melissa scorers included: Keonni Conkle (6), Gill Gray (4), Lauren Brown (2) and Megan Conlin (2).

ME 18 11 13 15 — 57

NL 7 12 4 17 — 40

Fairfield Tournament

Bad weather not only caused schools all across North Texas to close last week but also robbed Melissa of four games and five days of practice. The Lady Cardinals traveled to Fairfield on Dec. 12 to compete in the annual Chamber of Commerce Tournament.

The Lady Cardinals opened the tournament with a convincing 79-37 win over defending Class 3A state champion Mexia. Ten different Lady Cardinals scored, with Junior Keonni Conkle leading the effort with 20 points.

On Friday, the Lady Cards faced 3A No. 15 Madisonville. Melissa trailed the entire first half, but stepped up the defensive effort to hold Madisonville to just 14 second-half points in a 53-48 win. Keonni Conkle again led the scoring with 20 points, while Whitney Taylor added 14 and Megan Conlin 12 points.

The Saturday semifinal was against another state-ranked 3A team, high-scoring Waco Robinson which came into the contest averaging more than 70 points per game. Melissa, however, took a 17-6 first quarter lead and never looked back. Whitney Taylor hit seven 3-pointers on her way to 29 points. Katie Webb added 14.

The championship game was against host Fairfield, ranked No. 10 in 3A and a regional finalist last season. The home team led by four at half, but Melissa had a two-point lead going into the fourth quarter.

Melissa suffered a setback when senior Whitney Taylor fouled out with more than five minutes to go. Even so, the Lady Cardinals led going into the final minute of play. Thanks to four consecutive free-throws, Fairfield held a two-point lead with seven seconds remaining on the clock. Melissa executed a full-court effort and Keonni Conkle’s 3-point attempt rolled off the rim just as the buzzer sounded. Katie Webb finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds.