Trailing by as much as 11 points, North Callaway girls basketball came from behind and held Clopton scoreless for six minutes in the third quarter and seven in the fourth.
In the opening round of the 98th Annual Bowling Green Tournament -- the oldest high school basketball tournament in Missouri --No. 5 North Callaway beat No. 4 seed Clopton 45-41 Monday evening at Bowling Green Middle School in Bowling Green.
It was a revenge victory for the Ladybirds (12-8), as the Hawks (8-9) beat them by 16 points last Thursday in Clarksville.
Clopton played as they did in that game early on, outscoring North Callaway 29-21 in the first half. But the Ladybirds fought back in the second half and outscored the Hawks 24-12.
Riley Blevins scored a game-high 17 points for North Callaway, and she made the team's only two 3s. The Ladybirds' Natalie Shryock scored eight points, while Jaelyn Leible had a team-high six rebounds and two steals.
Braya Smith led Clopton offensively, notching a team-high 13 points.
The difference maker in Monday's result was North Callaway's free throw shooting. The Ladybirds went 15-of-21 from the line, while the Hawks were 8-of-16.
Shryock and Blevins were the two making most of North Callaway's free throws -- Shryock went 6-for-7, Blevins 5-for-6.
"Really good team effort," North Callaway coach Tim Turlington said. "Played well on both sides of the court, especially in the second half and especially on the defensive end and at the free throw line. Free throws were the big difference in the ball game. It's always good to win your first game in the tournament because now you're guaranteed to be playing for a trophy Friday night."
Up next, No. 5 seed North Callaway will face No. 1 seed Elsberry (14-4) in the championship bracket of the Bowling Green Tournament at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Bowling Green High School in Bowling Green.