The Melissa Lady Cardinals got off to a roaring start at the Highway 5 Classic, an eight-team girls basketball event played in Melissa and Anna.

On Dec. 8, Melissa opened the tournament, playing Community.

Melissa got off to a hot start and did not let up in a 67-16 win over the Lady Braves.

Sophomore Sally Clemmons had a season-high 26 points to lead the Lady Cardinal offense.

Junior Taylor Carney added 13, and the Melissa defense held Community to single-digit scoring in every quarter.

Dallas Thunder 61, Melissa 53

Of the eight girls’ teams playing in this year’s Highway 5 Classic, the Dodd City team, ranked number 1 in class 2-A, is the probable winner.

The Dallas Thunder, a home-school group of players from all over North Texas, will give them a battle in the championship game.

Melissa gave the Thunder all it could handle before losing 61-53 in their game at the Birdcage 2.0 on Dec. 9.

Back-to-back baskets by senior Lauren Brown and a late 3-point shot by senior Addison Flowers kept it close in the early minutes as the Lady Cards trailed by just two after the first period.

The Thunder’s left-handed post player, Delyna Miller, had 10 of her game-high 23 points in the opening quarter.

The Thunder knocked down three 3-pointers in the second period, on their way to a 34-28 halftime advantage.

A 3-pointer by junior Taylor Thomas closed out the first half scoring for Melissa. She finished with 13 points to lead the Lady Cardinals.

The lead stayed at about six throughout most of the third period.

Junior Taylor Carney, who scored eight points for Melissa, sent in a jumper from the short-corner and Thomas had another 3-ball in the frame.

Three-pointers by junior Natalie Conlin and Carney opened the fourth quarter scoring, but Miller was matching that with her post play.

Melissa got the lead down to four, but a late-game surge gave the Thunder the eight-point win.

Honey Grove 64, Melissa 59

An early run by Honey Grove was enough to push the Lady Warriors by the Lady Cardinals, 64-59 in Dec. 9 action at the Highway 5 Classic.

Honey Grove outscored the Lady Cards 37-21 in the first half, then held on for the five-point win.

Thomas had 14 points, Conlin added 11, and Carney posted 10 to lead the Melissa offense.

Senior Krista Butterfield and sophomore Sally Clemmons each had nine points for Melissa.