CENTERVIEW — A strong second quarter allowed the Knob Noster girls to survive a late run by Sherwood in the opening round of the Quarry City Classic on Monday, Jan. 27, moving on to the semifinals with a 42-34 win.
“I felt like we had some girls step up and do some things that we do all the time in practice, but it doesn’t transfer over into the games,” Knob Noster coach Renae Shippy said.
Neither team could find the bottom of the net in the first quarter with Sherwood holding a two-point lead at the end of one, 4-2.
Caylie Holyfield sparked the Lady Panthers in the second quarter. The freshman hit back-to-back corner triples to take the Lady Panthers from a two-point deficit to a four-point lead, 8-4.
Estella Huntsman, Lauren Hagle and Jane Yates all got into the 3-point shooting act as the Lady Panthers hit five treys to outscore Sherwood 23-3 in the second quarter.
By the end of the first half, Knob Noster held a 25-7 edge over Sherwood.
Sherwood clawed its way back into the game with an 8-0 run to start the second half.
“The girls handled that first hit out of halftime with that pressure, but then finally we settled in and did better,” Shippy said.
The Lady Panthers were held scoreless until the final five seconds of the frame, but managed to squeeze in a free throw by Holyfield, who finished with 11 points, and a put-back by Hagle at the horn to lead 28-15.
Sherwood found its offense in the final quarter with Rebekah Riffle and Kenadie Escalante combining for five 3-pointers as the Lady Marksmen drew within four, 38-34, with less than 30 seconds to play.
Knob Noster iced the game away with two sets of free throws to move on to the semifinals for the first time in the Classic and exceed last year’s win tally with four wins.
The Lady Panthers were led in scoring by Holyfield while Jane Yates added 10 points. Hagle chipped in seven points and Olivia Frisbee finished with six points.
Knob Noster will face top-seeded Leeton, who took down Chilhowee 58-7, at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 29.