The Kerens LadyCats got their revenge from a one-point loss they suffered to Blooming Grove Dec. 2, holding off the Lady Lions, 59-52, in the championship bracket semifinals of the Kiwanis Classic Friday night.

Kerens’s win sets up a rematch of last year’s Kiwanis Classic finals, as Kerens and Hubbard will battle at the Wolens Center at 6:30 p.m. tonight.

Kerens and Blooming Grove went at it tooth and nail, as neither once led by more than a bucket for the bulk of the game.

Kerens took a 45-39 lead early in the fourth quarter when Cherika Tolliver hit two quick buckets. The Lady Lions were able to fight back, taking a 49-47 lead at 4:54 when Cecilly Phillips sank both ends of a one-and-one free throw.

But that would be Blooming Grove’s last lead of the game, on an 8-0 run that was capped by a Krystal Cumby basket underneath.

Kerens (8-9) made good use of its fast-break attempts, as junior guard Carissa Ward scored most of her game-high 21 points on the run. Tolliver scored 12 points and Cumby added 11 with nine rebounds for the LadyCats.

Phillips scored a team-high 16 points and grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds for Blooming Grove, while junior guard Brandee Stout added 14. Junior guard Brittany Blackmon distributed the ball well for BG, handing out seven assists to go with 10 points and five boards.

Blooming Grove will meet district foe Mildred in the third place game at 3:30 p.m. today.

Consolation bracket

Rice 35, Dawson 24

A sputtering finish from the Dawson Lady Bulldogs ultimately led to Rice’s 35-24 win in the Kiwanis Classic consolation bracket Friday morning.

Dawson only trailed by two points at halftime, but managed just one field goal in the third quarter as Rice built a 28-18 advantage at the end of three. Dawson committed 22 of its 36 turnovers in the second half alone.

Rice junior guard Kelli Sheffield led all scorers with 16 points and added five assists. Teammate Brittney Allen scored 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter.

Center Chasity Warren led Dawson with 12 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds — helping her team win the rebounding margin, 35-21.

Dawson only shot 9 of 34 on the day and 0 of 7 from 3-point range. Rice hit 14 of 43 attempts (33 percent) and 5 of 15 (33 percent) 3-pointers.

Rice (10-6) faces Avalon in the consolation championship at 12:30 p.m. today, while Dawson (7-8) meets Avalon for the third straight year in the seventh-place game.

Frost 58, Avalon 25

The Frost Lady Bears had no trouble with Avalon as three players finished in double figures in a 58-25 win in the consolation bracket.

Frost junior guard Britney Rodgers and senior post Sarah Page led the way with a game-high 16 points apiece, while sophomore guard Rebecca Page added 15.

Rodgers knocked down four 3-pointers, while Sarah Page scored seven points in the first half alone as the Lady Eagles had no answer for Frost’s inside-outside tandem.

The elder Page also pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds, and sophomore Haley Cagle added nine boards to go along with six points. Avalon junior Cassandra Quintanilla paced her team with 12 points — nine in the second half — and six rebounds.

The Lady Bears (13-2) face Rice 12:30 p.m. today in what should be an interesting consolation championship between District 14-1A rivals. Avalon meets Dawson in the seventh-place game at 9:30 a.m.


Championship bracket

Rice 62, Hubbard 49

Rice Bulldogs head coach Eddie Barker knew playing — and beating — Hubbard for the third time this season would be tough.

Rice senior Aaron Anderson helped put his coach at ease by picking up where he left off on Thursday with a game-high 25 points in a 62-49 Bulldogs’ win.

Hubbard (7-8) never allowed Rice (14-3) to pull away, however, as a Josh Chatman putback got the Jaguars within seven (48-41) with just over four minutes remaining in the contest.

Rice responded with an 8-2 run that stretched the lead back to double digits (56-43). Allen Dunn added 12 for the Bulldogs, and junior posts Cullen Tores combined for 15 points and 23 rebounds.

Chatman paced Hubbard with 13 points and nine rebounds, and Steven Thrash added 10 points. The Jaguars meet Frost 5 p.m. today in the third-place, while Rice advances to the 8 p.m. title game against Kerens.

Consolation bracket

Mildred 50, Dawson 37

Donald Knight’s running back tendencies came out Friday morning, when the Mildred junior kept scoring after long runs.

Knight poured in a game-high 28 points and added three steals to lead the Eagles’ fast-break assault in a 50-37 win over Dawson in the consolation bracket.

Wes Weaver added eight points and seven assists for Mildred, which shot 20 of 45 (44 percent) from the floor.

The Eagles (6-9) got off to a quick start, when eight first-quarter points from Knight allowed them to take a 17-6 advantage after one stanza.

The bright spot for Dawson was senior Bryan Coleman, who won the battle of the big men with Mildred’s Jake Shimonek. Coleman scored 20 points, grabbed nine rebounds and blocked four shots, edging out Shimonek’s totals of six, eight and three, respectively.

The Bulldogs (2-8) only hit 14 of 47 (30 percent) field goal attempts. They will face Avalon in the seventh place game at 11 a.m. today.

Mildred battles Blooming Grove for fifth place in a District 14-2A precursor at 2 p.m. today.

Blooming Grove 62, Avalon 41

An 11-0 run early in the game ignited Blooming Grove as the Lions ran away from Avalon, 62-41, in consolation bracket action.

Blooming Grove junior Chris Nash led all scorers with 19 as nine different Lions accounted for points. Tyler Morales added 13, while Chris Derden chipped in 11.

Dustin Jones finished with eight points and a game-high 13 rebounds off the bench. John De La Garza led the Eagles with 15 points and nine boards.

Avalon will play Dawson 11 a.m. today in the seventh-place contest.

Mildred battles Blooming Grove (3-10) for fifth place in a District 14-2A preview at 2 p.m. today. The Navarro County rivals meet in league play on Jan. 6 at Blooming Grove and Jan. 31 at Mildred’s Lane Gymnasium.

The Eagles and Lions split two meetings last season with each team taking care of business at home.

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