STOVER — Stoutland rallied and beat Stover 54-48 in the semifinal of the Stover Tournament on Wednesday.
Stover led 45-44 until a Becca Looney 3-pointer with 3:00 left in the game put the Lady Tigers in front. The Lady Bulldogs had a chance to tie the game with 30 seconds left but a 3-point attempt from Eleanor Oehrke hit the back of the rim and bounced out.
“It was the right shot, right time, it just didn’t fall for us,” said Stover coach Ernie Haag. “You just can’t fault our kids’ effort (Wednesday), it was fantastic.”
Haag credited Cole Camp’s semifinal win over Tuscumbia immediately before Stover’s game with helping fire up the Lady Bulldogs.
“We came to see who we would play and watching Cole Camp and Tuscumbia, just the effort and desire those two teams had just got us excited about playing,” he said. “We figured out that if we play hard and play together, that we can be a pretty good basketball team.”
Alexa Willard scored 37 points. The future Missouri State Lady Bear scored the last seven points of the third quarter after Stover had taken a 36-27 lead. She then scored six of Stoutland’s last seven points of the game from the free throw line to help ice the game.
“They had to keep making adjustments to get her shots and they did and she just kept making them,” Haag said.
Many of Willard’s points came outside the paint, away from Mallory Uptegrove. When Willard battled Uptegrove on the low-post, Uptegrove blocked four of her shots.
Stover’s Ashley Schroder had five steals including three in the third quarter to help the Lady Bulldogs take a nine point lead.
“Ashley’s a scrapper,” Haag said. “She always plays hard. She always plays great. She’s just an effort kid. She prides herself on being a great defender.”
Jensen Bauer led Stover with 12 points, hitting four 3-pointers. Morgan Iman added 11. Schroder scored nine and Uptegrove added eight.
Stover will face Tuscumbia in the third place game at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Eric Ingles can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @Eric_Ingles