LEETON -- The Sweet Springs girls' basketball team advanced to the finals of Leeton's Battle on the Hardwood tournament for the second year in a row with a 57-52 decision Wednesday over LaMonte.
The second-seeded Lady Greyhounds lost the championship tilt to Smithton a year ago, but will get another crack at it Saturday against I-70 Conference rival Crest Ridge, the No. 1 seed.
Sweet Springs jumped out to an early 9-2 lead, but the young Lady Vikings -- with four freshmen and a sophomore in their starting line-up -- battled back to tie the contest heading into the fourth quarter.
Junior Kati Viets knocked down a three-pointer as the Lady 'Hounds carved out a small lead, which was narrowed to one point after senior Katie Rodriguez connected twice from beyond the arc.
However, junior Christina Higgins sank her last three field goals, scoring 14 of her game-high 19 points during the second half, to give Sweet Springs the victory.
Freshman Vada DeMotte scored 17 points for LaMonte (9-8), which will play Smithton for third place Saturday.
Sophomores Nicole and Ashleigh Bright each had 10 points for the Lady 'Hounds (11-7), who also got six steals from Viets and four assists from senior Rebecca Tyler.
The Sweet Springs boys are also trying to return to the title tilt, and took a step in that direction Tuesday with an easy 72-34 victory over Miami of Amoret.
The top-seeded Greyhounds forged out a 22-10 first-quarter lead and extended the margin to 27 points by halftime. Sweet Springs didn't let down coming out of the break, going on a 20-7 tear.
Junior Dylan Good topped the Eagles (1-12) with 19 points.
The 'Hounds (11-6) got 20 points from junior Jacob Schowengerdt, with senior Matt Harris and junior Jeffery Hall contributing 29 points between them.
Sweet Springs will play Chilhowee in the semifinal round today.