NEW FRANKLIN -- The Sweet Springs girls' basketball team reeled off its fourth straight win Friday by opening the 84th annual New Franklin Tournament with a 51-48 decision over Pilot Grove.
This was a tougher contest for the Lady Greyhounds than the meet a week earlier in the W-K Chevrolet/State Fair Community College Shoot-out at Sedalia, which they won by a convincing 57-29 margin. Two factors accounted for that: a change in the game plan by the Lady Tigers and a return to their line-up of sophomore Melissa Schlotzhauer, who added 10 points.
A tight first quarter ended on a three-pointer by sophomore Nicole Bright to give Sweet Springs a 17-15 lead. Bright, who recorded a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds, and senior Mikalah Vogelsmeier each hit three shots during the third period to take a five-point lead into the final frame.
Pilot Grove would hang tough -- aided by poor free-throw shooting by the Lady 'Hounds, wh0 missed five of six attempts down the stretch -- and a pair of Schlotzhauer buckets.
However, Bright came up with a couple of critical goals and Sweet Springs held on.
The Lady Tigers knocked down 10 threes during the contest, five by sophomore Kerrigan Wessing on her way to a game-high 21 points.
For Sweet Springs, junior Christina Higgins had 12 points, Vogelsmeier contributed 10 points and seven boards, and senior Rebecca Tyler dealt out five assists and came up with five steals.
The third-seeded Lady 'Hounds (7-1) will play in the semifinal Jan. 3 against the winner of the previous day's first-round clash between No. 2 New Franklin and Jamestown.