Prep Girls Basketball

Bair's dagger helps Missouri girls end Illinois' five-game winning streak in Classic

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jun. 17, 2017 12:01 am Updated: Jun. 18, 2017 10:59 pm

QUINCY -- Calesse Bair's shot hung in the air for what seemed like forever.

The Scotland County guard had to heave a rainbow as the shot clock expired with three minutes left in the fourth quarter. The buzzer sounded as the ball swished through the rim and gave the Missouri girls a 12-point lead, its largest in Saturday's 35th annual McDonald's/Herald-Whig Classic.

"The shot was ugly as heck, I can tell you that," Bair said. "But when I let go of it, I knew it was going in. That's why I started trotting back."

It was the dagger that put away Illinois as the Show-Me State secured an 80-71 victory at Quincy University's Pepsi Arena. The victory ends Land of Lincoln's five-game winning streak and extends the Show-Me State's overall series lead to 19-16.

"That's what I turned and said to the bench," Missouri coach Cory Shultz said. "It was the dagger. That was a big shot because (Illinois) played good, hard defense for 30 seconds and then she hits that shot."

About a minute later, however, Bair suffered a scare. She went down clutching her right knee while trying to drive to the basket. She was down for a couple minutes before walking to the bench.

"(The trainers) said it's definitely sprained," said Bair, who finished with 16 points on 5-of-11 shooting. "I'm just going to take it easy."

Illinois didn't take it easy and used full-court pressure to rally in the final minute of the game. The Show-Me State committed a pair of turnovers just eight seconds apart, and Illinois made three of four free throws to cut the deficit to 76-69.

The Land of Lincoln never got any closer.

"They just outscored us," said Pittsfield's Maddi Palmer, who was named Illinois' Most Outstanding Player. "But they didn't outwork us."

The game was tight throughout as neither team had a lead larger than five points heading to the fourth quarter. Missouri used an 10-2 run to open the fourth quarter, which was capped by a pair of free throws by Chelsea Wood to extend the lead to 66-55 with 4:57 remaining.

Wood finished with a game-high 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds to earn Missouri's Most Outstanding Player award.

Wood, Bair and Madison McCabe combined to score 52 points for the Show-Me State. Bair and McCabe combined to make six 3-pointers.

Missouri shot 47.5 percent from the floor and made 8 of 18 from 3-point range.

"We talked in the locker room we didn't know if they were going to shoot that hot in the second half," Illinois coach Brad Begeman said. "And they did. For as good as they shot, we still had a ton of chances."

Palmer kept Illinois in the game through the first three quarters. She came off the bench to score 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting. Griggsville-Perry's Devin Battefeld also had 10 points. Central-Southeastern's Brianna Hildebrand and Quincy High School's Jada Humphrey each had nine points.

Illinois had seven players who scored at least eight points.

Land of Lincoln shot 41.9 percent from the floor but just 29.4 percent from beyond the arc.

"It was hard to come off the bench, because we had a lot of people that started for our high school teams," Palmer said. "So whenever we got out on the court, we wanted to show what we had."

Missouri 80, Illinois 71

Missouri

Player fg-fga ft-fta reb pf pts

Bair 5-11 3-6 5 0 16

Feeney 1-5 4-4 1 5 6

Ogle 3-6 1-2 6 2 9

Campbell 2-4 1-4 11 1 5

Wood 8-11 5-6 9 5 21

Troy 3-6 0-0 2 1 6

McCabe 5-9 2-3 1 2 15

Rich 0-1 0-0 1 0 0

O'Brien 0-1 0-2 0 1 0

Albright 1-5 0-0 1 1 2

TEAM 4

Totals 28-59 16-27 41 18 80

Illinois

Player fg-fga ft-fta reb pf pts

Humphrey 4-13 1-4 5 5 9

Kuhn 3-9 1-2 4 1 8

Vance 1-4 4-6 1 5 6

B. Hildebrand 3-7 2-2 2 2 9

J. Hildebrand 4-7 0-1 4 2 8

Johnson 1-2 0-0 1 1 3

Palmer 4-8 2-3 4 4 10

Battefeld 2-5 4-4 1 0 10

Grotts 0-1 0-0 2 2 0

Gibbs 4-6 0-0 5 1 8

TEAM 4

Totals 26-62 14-22 33 23 71

Missouri 23 13 20 24--80

Illinois 23 11 17 20--71

3-point field goals--Missouri 8-18 (Bair 3-5, McCabe 3-4, Ogle 2-4, Feeney 0-2, Troy 0-1, O'Brien 0-1, Albright 0-1), Illinois 5-17 (Battefeld 2-4, Kuhn 1-4, B. Hildebrand 1-2, Johnson 1-2, Vance 0-2, Humphrey 0-3). Assists--Missouri 13 (Feeney 4), Illinois 12 (Vance 3). Steals--Missouri 6 (Wood 3), Illinois 9 (Humphrey 4, Kuhn 4). Blocked shots--Missouri 2 (Ogle, Wood), Illinois 2 (Kuhn, Grotts). Turnovers--Missouri 17, Illinois 15. Officials--Todd Reichert, John Schild, Brian Sullivan.