MOKANE — The state-ranked, unbeaten Lady Bulldogs moved closer to a Show-Me Conference title by outscoring the Lady Comets 23-20 in the fourth quarter of Thursday night's victory.
Free throws played a pivotal role in the fourth quarter as South Callaway (20-0, 6-0 SMC) — ranked second in Class 3 — knocked down 13-of-14 and finished 19-of-23 overall. Fatima, suffering its first SMC loss of the season, was 10-of-12 from the line in the last 8 minutes and 14-of-22 for the game.
"We went to the line with confidence," Lady Bulldogs head coach Darren Humphrey said. "It came down to the wire and the girls stepped up when they had to."
South Callaway owned an 18-15 lead after one quarter, but the Lady Comets outscored the Lady Bulldogs 7-6 in both the second and third quarters to close within 30-29.
Freshman guard Paige Clubb hit a pair of 3-pointers and converted all eight of her free throws to direct South Callaway with 14 points. Freshman forward DeLaney Horstman added 13 points and senior guard Ashley Potter chipped in with 12.
Senior guard Adrian Mann — the Lady Bulldogs' leading scorer — was limited to seven points.
"(Fatima) knew it had to stop some of our leading scorers and they did a good job with that," Humphrey said. "With some shots, we had absolutely no breathing room at all."
Lauren Brandt tallied a game-high 20 points, including five 3-pointers, to pace Fatima. Mann held Courtney Wolfe — the Lady Comets' leading scorer — to six points.
"It was a pretty defensive-paced game," Humphrey said. "We knew what we had to do, we just had to absolutely stop Courtney Wolfe. She's their bread-and-butter and when she has a really big night, so does Fatima.
"It was a great defensive performance by Adrian Mann."
South Callaway lost the two-quarter junior varsity game 16-7. Freshman guard Cassidy Crocker scored four points.
The Lady Bulldogs played a makeup game at SMC opponent St. Elizabeth on Saturday afternoon. Results were not available at press time.