The Richland Lady Bears made history Wednesday as they played in the Class 2 Basketball tournament for the first time in several years. The Lady Bears came into the game with a 21-6 record and was one of the top 16 teams in the state that started out with 128 in November.
Before the game started, Senior Captain Brittany Latham said, “It is bittersweet. We finally achieved our goal that we've been working toward for years. It was definitely one of the best feelings in the world. I wouldn't have wanted to accomplish this title with any other group of girls. Now we are onto sectionals.”
The game began with both teams coming out with strong defenses. The Lady Bears and Lady Tigers were both tied at 12 each after the first period of the game. The Skyline Lady Tigers went on a 21-7 run in the second quarter of the game. Skyline led 33-19 after the first half of play.
The Richland girls played much closer to Skyline in the third period and were outscored 16-13 in the third period. The Lady Tigers extended their lead in the game 49-32. The Skyline Girls extended their lead after a much slower 10-6 final period. The Skyline Lady Tigers won the game 59-38.
The Richland Lady Bears were led in scoring by Senior Morgan Moss with 22 points. Senior Jessi Whittle added 11 points for the bears in the final game. Senior Brittany Latham and Junior Madison Weller both added a bucket in the game for the Lady Bears. Freshman Kaitlyn Cole made a free throw for the Lady Bears.
The Skyline Lady Tigers were led in scoring by Senior Kaylee DaMitz with 18 points on the night. Senior Savannah Owen scored 14 points in the win. Lady Tigers Senior Chloe Cole added 13 points in the win. Junior Autumn Garrett added 11 points for the Skyline girls.Both Seniors Kristen Miller and Sarah Cunningham added three points for the Lady Tigers sectional win.
Head Richland Lady Bears Coach Charlie Parker said, about the season as a whole, “How do I sum up the 2017-2018 season? Memorable! I was blessed to have had the chance to coach such an amazing group of young ladies and to have had the season we had was such a great achievement. This was my first 20 win season as a coach and my first district championship and it was one that I will never forget. The lady bears finished the season 21-7 and 6-2 in the Frisco League conference. We took second in the Frisco league tournament, won the Osage tournament, took second in the Newburg tournament and of course won the class 2 District 9 Championship. All the credit goes to the young ladies that I get to coach. I am proud of this group of young ladies and all that they accomplished and I am blessed to share the success with these ladies. I would like to thank my seniors for their dedication and hard work that they put into this program the last four years, you all have set a great example for our program and what is expected. I would like to thank the community for all of your support all year long as well.
The Richland Lady Bears ended their season with a 21-7 record for the 2017-2018 season. It included a District Championship, Osage Tournament Championship, and two second place tournaments.
After the game, Latham said this about the season this year, “This basketball season was definitely the best one yet. We ended the season 21-7, winning the Osage Tournament, placing second in the Frisco League and Newburg Tournament. We finally accomplished our goal that we seniors have had since we were in elementary school. Winning the district championship was one of the best feelings and I will cherish those memories forever. I’m glad I got to finish out my senior season with the girls I have been playing basketball with since second grade. This season was filled with great memories and accomplishments and I’m grateful for the opportunity to play for and with the best coaches and teammates around.”
The Skyline Lady Tigers will play on Saturday at Drury University against Blue Eye in the round of eight teams.