Fulton girls basketball wins fifth straight, beating district/NCMC opponent Kirksville

KIRKSVILLE -- The Fulton Hornets extended their season-high winning streak to five games, beating district opponent, the Kirksville Tigers, 40-29 in a North Central Missouri Conference game Friday at Kirksville High School.

Kirksville led 8-7 after one quarter, Fulton went up 19-10 at halftime and held a 27-17 advantage through three quarters.

Audrey Arnold scored a game-high 17 points (one 3) for the Hornets, Bre Richmond posted 10 points (2-2 at the free-throw line) and Kier Henderson had six points (2-2 at the charity stripe).

The Tigers' top scorers were Jersey Herbst with 10 points (two 3s), Chloe Carter with seven points (2-4 at the free-throw line and one 3) and Taylor Kirkland with five points (2-2 at the charity stripe and one 3).

Fulton improved to 9-11 overall and 4-3 in the NCMC, and Kirksville fell to 7-13 overall and 2-6 in the NCMC.

"A better start," Fulton girls basketball coach Clayton Stewart said. "We showed a lot of patience and composure on offense. Early in the season, we forced passes, ending in turnovers and shooting not-ideal 3s at the first sign of confusion; now, we pull back, direct each other, and reset. Defensively, maybe the best game yet.

"Kier did an absolutely outstanding job on their leading scorer, holding her to just five points while Kier weaved and muscled up three buckets in the paint. Bre got the start tonight and was grabbing boards everywhere while still scoring 10 points. Audrey did her usual thing of carrying the team with 17 points and looking for opportunities for one-on-one. Even though Ari didn't score, she locked down the lane on defense and drew a lot of attention while on offense. Reagan had a couple clutch steals and assists, too.

"Aubrey had a lot of good looks that rimmed out. Dez entered and also gave a lot of problems to the other team as she contested every shot and had a couple blocks. Those who came off the bench did a good job, too. Wash was able to get a little rehab game time with her shoulder...looking to be back to maybe 90 for Mexico next week."

Playing their biggest regular season game left, the Hornets host Highway 54 rival, district opponent Mexico (10-12, 3-4 NCMC) at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Fulton High School. The two teams split their first two meetings this season: Fulton beat the Lady Bulldogs 36-33 on Jan. 2 at Mexico, and Mexico won 47-29 on Nov. 27 in Montgomery City.