courtesy of Cassy Jonescourtesy of Cassy Jones

Underrated Lady Bears Take Third in Holiday Tournament

The Lady Bears were the 7th seed coming into the tournament, they took that seeding personally. They faced the 10th-seed host Lady Panthers of Mountain Grove first. Willow started quick and, sparked by their defense, led the first quarter by a score of 25-8. The Lady Bears would continue their dominance and win the game by a large margin with a final of 64-36.
Game two was the match-up everyone was looking forward to: Willow Springs versus the 2-seed Mountain View Lady Eagles. It did not disappoint. The Eagles tried to speed the game up by trying to press the Lady Bears to hurry. The Lady Bears found foul trouble quickly with 2 starters on the bench with 2 quick fouls. But, the bench stepped up and helped to tie the game at the half. 
Willow stepped up the defense in the third quarter and held the Eagles to only 10 third quarter points while Willow tallied 16 to lead after 3 by 45-39..
The Eagles were not done yet and fought back in the 4th and sent the game into overtime. The Eagles would strike first in the overtime and take the early lead, but the Lady Bears weren't about to quit now as they closed the game with a run to put the Lady Bears in the lead that the Eagles could not answer. The Lady Bears defeated the higher seed Lady Eagles by 66 to 59.
The second round victory saw the Lady Bears face the Mansfield Lady Lions. The Bears had a tough time with the Lions, and the first half went back and forth with the Bears leading 25-19. 
Willow tightened up in the second half and tried to play a stall game. Mansfield took advantage and closed the gap to 36-32.
The fourth quarter was the same story, and the Lady Bears only put up 5 points. Mansfield walked away the winners 45 to 41. 
The loss landed the Lady Bears in the third place game facing the Houston Tigers. The Bears led the game from start to finish as the Lady Tigers were no match for the Bears’ experience.
Willow Springs was led by three seniors who each scored double digits in the game.
The game would end by a score of 51-41 and would conclude the tournament with the Lady Bears taking home the third place plaque.
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