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Payton Lakey scored 22 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and had six blocked shots as the Ava Lady Bears defeated Licking 56-38 in first-round play of the Missouri Class 3, District 2 Tournament at Cabool last Saturday.
Jorie Garrett had 10 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists, and Emily Sterling added 10 points and seven rebounds for Ava.
Kristen Hastings and Melissa Coonts had six points each for Ava and Kayley Watson added two points to complete Ava’s scoring.
The Lady Bears advanced to play Cabool in the semifinals Wednesday night.
No. 6 Cabool upset No. 3 Liberty, 62-59, on Saturday.
With a win on Wednesday, the Lady Bears will play for the championship on Friday night at 7 p.m. If the Ava girls make it to the finals of the district tournament, their likely opponent will be top-seed Seymour which defeated the Lady Bears twice already early in the season.
The Lady Bears held a 16-11 lead after one quarter of play Saturday night, but held Licking scoreless in the second quarter to move out to a 29-11 lead at halftime.
Ava shot 42 percent from the field and converted 13-of-19 free throws for 68.4 percent, but the big difference in the game was on the boards where Ava out-rebounded the Lady Wildcats 42-16.
Additional stats show that the Lady Bears had 20 points in the paint, which reflects on the 13 offensive rebounds by Ava girls.
The Lady Bears headed into Wednesday night’s semifinals game with a record of 22-5 in Coach Clint Gazette’s first year as head coach.