The seventh- and eighth-grade girls elementary season began on Tuesday night with the preseason Morrison Ruritan tournament.
On the first night of action, the Boyd Lady Broncos and Eastside Lady Bulldogs started their seasons with wins. Boyd defeated the Irving College Lady Tigers 34-22 and Eastside edged the Centertown Lady Warriors 31-24.
Boyd and Irving College kicked off action at Morrison Elementary gym and the Lady Broncos looked like a team ready to erase a last-place effort last season.
Boyd got a standout performance from Rhiannon Hoover to tame the Lady Tigers.
Hoover scored 15 points, most coming on 3-pointers, to lead the Lady Broncos to victory.
Hoover was a difference maker from the opening tip. The Lady Bronco point guard scored five points in the first quarter, including sinking her first of three 3-pointers.
Ashley Kiefer added two baskets as Boyd led 11-6 after the first six minutes.
Three-point plays by Kesley Mullican and Jordan Bess temporarily cut into the Lady Bronco lead, but Hoover dropped another long-distance shot and MacKinzie Pistole connected on a three-point play of her own to help Boyd lead 17-12 entering halftime.
The Lady Broncos began to pull away in the second half. Boyd’s press slowed down the Lady Tigers while the Lady Bronco offense continued to rely on Hoover.
Hoover sank a 3-pointer from the top of the key to start the quarter, then Kiefer, Morgan Deweese and Elissa Caten each added layups as Boyd outscored Irving College 11-3 in the third quarter.
By the time Bess found the range from three-point land in the fourth quarter, the Lady Tigers had dug too much of a hole.
Irving College couldn’t cut into a large Boyd lead as the Lady Broncos won by 12.
Deweese and Kiefer scored six points each for Boyd. Pistole added five points and Cason finished with two.
Bess and Mullican led the Lady Tigers with seven points apiece. Jocelyn Jones chipped in five, Caylie Sherrell scored two and Kaylee Campbell rounded out the scoring with a free throw.
Lanae Hodge was a big reason why Eastside moved on to the semifinals. Hodge scored 17 points to power the Lady Bulldogs to a seven-point victory over Centertown.
Hodge and the Lady Bulldogs were at their best at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter. After the Lady Warriors threatened to make it a game following a 3-pointer by Sammye Medley, the Lady Bulldogs wrapped up the game at the charity stripe.
Hodge hit 3-of-4 as the Lady Bulldogs finished the final quarter 5-of-8 from the free-throw line to preserve the victory.
Tevan Holder added six points for Eastside. Rounding out the scoring was Shyenne Blanton and Jayden Smith with three each and Rylan Moore with two.
Alana Ortiz led Centertown with eight points. Brionna Melton and Hannah Wright scored four each while Medley finished with three. Hope Valenta and Alli Howard added two points apiece. Brook Valenta chipped in a free throw.
Boyd and Eastside moved into the semifinals, which were played last night. The results were not available at press time. The winners of the Boyd-Dibrell game and Eastside-Morrison contest will play tonight at 7 p.m. for the Morrison Ruritan tournament championship.
Check in Sunday’s Southern Standard for championship game results.