SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Blue Eye Lady Bulldogs lost 68-58 to Ellington in the Class 2 Semifinals on March 11.
Blue Eye started the game strong on a 7-0 run before Ellington got on the board.
By the end of the first quarter, the score was tight, but the Bulldogs held the lead at 13-11.
Ellington took over the game after that.
In the first half, the Lady Bulldogs were led by juniors Avery Arnold and Kyla Warren in terms of scoring. The two combined for 16 of the Lady Bulldogs’ 27 first half points. Junior Avery Arnold, who averaged 17.1 points going into the state semifinal, was held to a banked 3-pointer as the first half buzzer ran out.
The first half shot put Riley Arnold at 1,002 career points.
Ellington had four scorers on the board at half. Thanks to sophomore Kaylee King’s 16 first-half points, the Lady Whippets took a four-point lead into the locker rooms.
In the third quarter, Ellington continued to sink shots while Blue Eye struggled. The Whippets outscored the Lady Bulldogs 20-9, securing the win and an advancement to the championship game.
Riley Arnold exploded in the second half, but especially in the fourth quarter. After coming into the second half with just three points, she ended the game with 15. Avery Arnold scored 17, and Warren scored 16.
Ellington also had three players in double digits. King ended with 25 for the Lady Whippets; junior Laura Gore scored 12; junior Gretchen Hackworth neared a double-double with 20 points — 10 of which were from free throws — and nine rebounds.
Warren led the way with nine rebounds for the Lady Bulldogs.
Blue Eye head coach Ken Elfrink said Ellington’s ability to out-rebound his team allowed it to secure the win as well.
“We did not get a lot of second chances like we usually did this season, and you have to give credit to Ellington for that,” Elfrink said. “They watched their film coming in.”
Blue Eye played for third place at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 12.