In their final regular season game of the year, the Melissa Lady Cardinals traveled to Anna for a game that was merely a formality. Well, there was the whole issue of bragging rights at stake.
Melissa had already secured the 12-3A District Title with a gritty 36-26 win over Princeton on Jan. 31, and though a win would give it a second consecutive sweep in district the game was otherwise meaningless as far as its playoff scenario was concerned.
Anna, however, had the opportunity to secure a third place finish in the district if it would have been able to upset the No. 17 Lady Cardinals. The win would have meant that the Lady Coyotes would have advanced to take on the 11-3A district runner up.
An upset of the Cards was not in the cards, however, as Melissa was able to get the 49-30 road win on Tuesday night.
Melissa will advance to take on Irving North Hills in the bi-district round of the playoffs with tentative plans for the game to be played on Monday.
Anna and Community finished their district schedule at 3-5, tied for third place which will force a district-seeding game at 6 p.m. on Friday in Melissa between the two teams. The winner will have to take on Roosevelt, the 11-3A runner up. The loser of the seeding game will advance to take on No. 25 Wilmer-Hutchins in the bi-district round.
Melissa 49, Anna 30
Knowing they needed to get off to a fast start to compete with the high-octane Melissa offense, the Lady Coyotes struck first as Jaci Richardson knocked down a jumper in the lane. Whitney Taylor responded almost immediately for the Lady Cardinals with a bomb from down-town to give Melissa the lead.
Avery Oonk scored to put Anna up again and it looked like the teams were going to battle it out shot-for-shot. But appearances can be deceiving. Melissa finished the quarter on a 12-0 run, showing the Coyote crowd why it is ranked in the top 20 in the state and taking a lead it never relinquished.
Anna was able to get within 10 in the second quarter following a shot from Mikaela Gililland, but back-to-back treys from Keonni Conkle and Taylor gave the Lady Cardinals a 24-8 advantage.
The Lady Coyotes didn’t give up, attempting to get a rally started with a traditional three-point play from Dei Moreno that sparked a 10-point run. The run was capped off when Gililland hit a shot to cut the Melissa lead to single digits.
Melissa answered before the end of the half with a trey from Taylor from the corner pocket followed by a three from Kristin Butterfield to give the Lady Cardinals a 14-point advantage at the end of the first half.
The third quarter was quiet, with just five field goals and 13 combined points scored from the two teams. Anna’s slump continued into the fourth quarter with just 11 points scored in the second half as Melissa was able to get the 19-point win.
Taylor led all scorers in the game with 17 points, four from long range. Katie Webb helped Melissa dominate with 15 points. Anna’s Moreno, who was sidelined for the first quarter, led the Lady Coyotes with 13 points and was the only Anna player in double digits.
Other Melissa scorers included: Keonni Conkle (6), Lauren Brown (4), Kristin Butterfield (3), Cat Whitten (2) and Gill Gray (2). Other Anna scorers included: Jaci Richardson (7), Mikaela Gililland (6), Breeanna Dilldine (2) and Avery Oonk (2).
M 15 17 6 11 — 49
A 4 14 7 5 — 30