By SEAN McCARRELL
(KANSAS CITY, Mo., digitalBURG) – The Warrensburg Lady Tigers fell behind early and were unable to come all the way back, falling 47-37 to O’Hara Friday night on the road.
A night that began with a somber moment of silence to honor the victims of the shooting in Connecticut quickly turned to basketball for the Lady Tigers of Warrensburg and Lady Celtics of O’Hara. It was the West Central Conference opener for Warrensburg, and the Lady Tigers started slowly.
O’Hara set the tone early in the game with full-court pressure that stifled the Warrensburg offense all night. The Lady Celtics’ full-court zone press forced turnovers one after another in the first half, and held the Lady Tigers in check.
On offense, O’Hara converted those turnovers into easy transition baskets. Amanda Hull and Cydnee Reese led the way for the Lady Celtics with fast-break layups early in the game. However, the Lady Tigers got some big buckets of their own when they were able to break through the O’Hara pressure.
Three pointers from Mac Cunconan and Jessica Tiller kept the Lady Tigers in it, and they trailed by one at halftime, 17-16.
“We like to get our shooters good looks,” said Lady Tigers head coach Bob Rickman. “We’re a team that has a good balanced attack.”
In the second half, the Lady Celtics maintained control of the game, while the Lady Tigers hit big shots to keep it close. Warrensburg continued to have trouble with the full-court pressure of O’Hara, and the Lady Celtics continued to score in transition.
“We need to take care of the ball,” Rickman said.
The Lady Tigers did continue to hit shots in the second half, as Taylor Geis got into the act, and O’Hara led Warrensburg 29-24 after three quarters of play.
The fourth quarter belonged almost entirely to the O’Hara Lady Celtics. Cydnee Reese scored on back-to-back three pointers to begin the period for O’Hara, and the Lady Celtics never looked back. O’Hara led by as many as 14 in the fourth quarter, and won 47-37.
Cydnee Reese led the charge for O’Hara with 12 points, while Warrensburg was led by Taylor Geis and Jessica Tiller, who each finished with nine.
With the loss, the Lady Tigers fell to 2-5 on the season and 0-1 in West Central Conference action.
Warrensburg will be back on the hardwood Tuesday night, as they return home to take on the Lady Owls of Marshall High School.