The Stockton Lady Tigers played host to the weather delayed 14th Annual Stockton Invitational Tournament last week, entering the tournament as a #8 seed as they faced the #1 seed, and #1 ranked Class 3 girls basketball team, the El Dorado Springs Lady Bulldogs. As if facing the Lady Bulldogs wasn’t enough of a challenge, Coach Brett Burchett and his Lady Tigers found themselves without the services of freshman starter Hayleigh Burres, who was injured in a game the previous week.
The game started out on a positive note as the Lady Tigers were able to stay with the Lady Bulldogs as quarter #1 ended with the Lady Tigers down 15-11.
From there, the Lady Bulldogs showed why they are considered one of the best girls basketball teams in the state. Over the final three quarters, the Lady Bulldogs scored 47 points while holding the Lady Tigers to 8 points over the same stretch, running away with the victory, 62-19. Unfortunately, the news got worse for the Lady Tigers as Ellie Flora injured her upper arm and was unable to play down the stretch. Before her injury, Flora led the Lady Tigers in scoring, netting 7 points in the losing cause.
The following night, the Lady Tigers faced off against the Mt. Vernon Mountaineers in the consolation bracket. Starters Ellie Flora and Hayleigh Burres were unable to play due to injury as the Lady Tigers took the court with a makeshift starting lineup.
Shorthanded, the Lady Tigers struggled out of the gate, finding themselves down 15-2 after the first quarter and 31-10 at the half. Despite the major deficit, the Lady Tigers continued to play hard, cutting into the deficit in the third period, finding themselves down 35-20 after 3 periods. In the final frame, the Lady Tigers got the deficit down to 9, but could get no closer as they fell 46-31, eliminating the Lady Tigers from the tournament. Faith King paced the shorthanded Lady Tigers with 12 points in the valiant effort.
In other tournament action, the opening round had Morrisville defeat Mt. Vernon 44-34, Chadwick beat Buffalo 55-21, and Miller beat Lamar 61-29. In semifinal action on the consolation side, Lamar beat Buffalo 45-42. In semifinal championship bracket action, El Dorado Springs beat Morrisville 79-48 as Chadwick defeated Miller 44-15.
In the final round, Lamar defeated Mt. Vernon 48-44 to take the consolation trophy, Miller defeated Morrisville 63-37 to take the third place trophy, and El Dorado Springs defeated newcomer Chadwick 48-46 in a clash between state ranked teams to claim the championship trophy.
The Lady Tigers return to southwest Conference play next week, hosting Sarcoxie on January 25th followed by a road trip to Lockwood for a boys/girls doubleheader on January 30th.