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By Marlana Smith
The Lady Raiders received first place in the La Plata Tournament on Saturday, February 4, 2023, after battling until the end against fifth ranked Class 2 Schuyler County. NS won 54-49.
This was the fourth time this season that the Lady Raiders faced Schuyler County. They defeated them in the Tri-Rivers Classics championship, as well as the third-place championship in the North Shelby Tournament.
“These girls have gotten better game in and game out. I knew when I came in, I was getting a special group of girls. Whether it’s them making me laugh about talking about turtles or whether it’s because they are playing great basketball,” NS head coach Chris Parsons continued. “It’s a great group of girls that not only am I enjoying on the basketball court, but I am going to enjoy the rest of my life.”
North Shelby was led by Caroline Linberger with 22 points. Ava Williams earned 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Ceairra Kirby had four assist and three steals.
The Lady Rams jumped out to a 5-0 lead within a minute and a half. Linberger went 1-for-2 from the free throw line to get NS on the board. A bucket was made by Raina Small giving SC a 7-1 lead. Williams scored, but Schuyler County made back-to-back shots extending its lead 11-3.
Natalie Thrasher hit a shot from beyond the arc and NS only trailed 11-6. North Shelby’s Meg Shively scored after a pass from Williams. With 20.8 seconds left in the quarter, Linberger scored tying the game 11-11.
Beginning the second period, Linberger made back-to-back steals and was successful on the lay ups. NS took its first lead 15-11. The Lady Rams scored after Small went 1-for-2 from the charity stripe. Williams scored the next four points for North Shelby.
The Lady Raiders (19-3) had a 21-16 advantage after Ceairra Kirby scored. The next three points in the game were from the free throw line. NS had a 22-18 advantage with 25 seconds on the clock. Small scored with 13 seconds left in the first half.
North Shelby freshman Hadlee Parsons splashed in a 3-pointer after an inbound play. The Lady Raiders led 25-20.
Within 15 seconds in the third quarter, Thrasher hit a 3-pointer. Schuyler County scored the next five points and only trailed 28-25. Linberger scored North Shelby’s next three points giving them a 31-25 lead.
NS only tallied four points in the rest of the quarter. Linberger and Marissa McEwen each scored two. After McEwen’s appearance at the charity stripe, the Lady Raiders led 35-30. Small scored with 19.5 seconds on the clock and the Lady Rams only trailed 35-32 at the buzzer.
To start the final period, Linberger went to the line with 12 seconds. She went 2-for-2. Linberger also scored the next two points for NS.
Jacie Morris scored the next three points for SC. The Lady Rams only trailed 39-37. The game would be tied after a bucket by Ashlyn Laws.
Linberger went 2-for-2 from the charity stripe giving NS a two-point advantage. Morris later went 2-for-2 from the line just 23 seconds later. Williams and Linberger’s buckets gave NS a 45-41 advantage.
The Lady Raiders continued to be successful at the free throw line which allowed them to maintain their lead and get the victory.
Lady Raiders vs. Canton
North Shelby defeated the Lady Tigers in the semi-final championship game at La Plata on Wednesday, February 1. The Lady Raiders came away with a 60-53 win.
NS (18-3) was led by Ava Williams with 24 points. Caroline Linberger earned 18. Williams went 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Linberger went 4-for-4. As a team, NS went 21-for-25 from the line. Canton went 9-for-18.
Williams had 17 rebounds. Linberger and Meg Shively each had seven. As a team the Lady Raiders had 47 rebounds.
The Lady Raiders outscored Canton in every quarter.
“I thought we responded well and played well and did what we had to do against a great Canton team. We knew they were going to come out strong and were going to give us everything they had,” Parsons said. “It was important to the girls to knock them off. That’s the kind of win we got to have in order to do what we want to do in the playoffs.”
Linberger and Williams were the only ones to score in the first period. Linberger had 10 and Williams tallied six.
Williams led the Lady Raiders with 6-of-11 points in the second period. At halftime North Shelby held a 27-23 lead.
North Shelby scored 34 points in the second half.
North Shelby vs.
The Lady Raiders dominated the Lady Tigers in the first round of the La Plata Tournament with a final score of 64-28.
NS (17-3) was led by Caroline Linberger with 18 points. Ceairra Kirby tallied 12.
Linberger had seven rebounds. Addy Uhlmeyer earned five. The Lady Raiders stole the ball 13 times. Linberger had five steals.
“The first game we came out and did what we had to do against Scotland County. I am getting the girls to understand to put the pedal down and let’s go out and get it over with. I thought we did that,” said Parsons.
The Lady Raiders went 13-for-20 from the charity line.