Photographs by Mitchell PE Masilun
Wonderview’s Faith Byers (right) goes over Mount Vernon-Enola’s Taylor Keathley during the girls Class 1A state championship game Saturday at Bank of the Ozarks Arena. Byers had 17 points and 9 rebounds to help the Lady Daredevils win 56-40 for their first state title since 2012.
Sunday, March 11, 2018
HOT SPRINGS -- As far as Brooke Zimmerman was concerned, Wonderview had no more room in its gymnasium for a runner-up trophy.
Zimmerman, a 5-9 senior forward, earned MVP honors with a 19-point performance in the Lady Daredevils' 56-40 victory over rival Mount Vernon-Enola in Saturday's girls Class 1A state championship game at the Bank of the Ozarks Arena.
It was the fifth meeting between the two teams this season. Wonderview (38-3) won all five.
For Zimmerman, it was her third trip to the championship game, but her first at tasting a title victory.
"We knew what it was like to be here, but we had to take control and get everybody's confidence up," Zimmerman said. "We got the job done, and that's what we wanted to do."
In its two previous trips to the championship game, Wonderview had suffered losses to Nemo Vista and Bay, but against a familiar foe in a friendly setting, the Lady Daredevils got on an early roll Saturday.
"It wasn't the prettiest of games," said Wonderview Coach Jeremy Simon, whose team scored 10 consecutive points after falling behind 2-0. "Sometimes you just have to grind out a win, and I think that's what we did tonight."
Wonderview also had a little Faith on its side. Junior 5-5 point guard Faith Byers scored 17 points and collected nine rebounds. Byers scored Wonderview's first seven points of the second half and connected on seven free-throw attempts, all in the second half.
"She seems to show up in big moments," Simon said. "She's a heckuva player. She hit some threes, she takes care of the ball. She just does all the small things right."
Gracie Raby attempted to rally Mount Vernon-Enola (34-9). A 5-7 junior guard, Raby scored all 13 of the Lady War Hawks' fourth-quarter points. She finished with a game-high 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting and 4 of 5 free throws. Her layup with 2:56 remaining cut Wonderview's lead to 47-40, but it was also the Lady War Hawks' final points.
"[Raby] played well," Mount Vernon-Enola Coach Adam Carlton said. "But we were 3 of 21 from the three-point line. I thought if we could just cut the lead back to six that we would have a chance. But Wonderview just made big shots."
Wonderview finished 15-of-43 shooting and 7 of 18 from three-point range, but the Lady Daredevils were 3 of 4 on three-pointers in the fourth quarter. Mount Vernon-Enola was 16-of-51 shooting.
"We didn't shoot the ball real well, but we stepped up big when we had to have them," Simon said. "We hit some three-pointers and our free throws down the stretch."
Wonderview outrebounded Mount Vernon-Enola 41-28. Senior Shelby Reynolds led the Lady Daredevils with 12 rebounds. Senior Kyndal Hardy grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds and had three blocked shots for the Lady War Hawks.
Sports on 03/11/2018
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