South Callaway girls basketball wins at Eugene in last-ever Show-Me game

EUGENE -- Marking the end of an era by playing one of their best games this season, the South Callaway Lady Bulldogs won 46-18 against the Eugene Lady Eagles in their final Show-Me Conference game Monday at Eugene High School.

"It's nice to win our final game in the Show-Me Conference," South Callaway girls basketball coach Daniel Burns said. "So, that's always nice. It's been a rivalry, I guess (against Eugene). There's a lot of really good teams in that conference, and they're (Eugene) going to be coming with us in the new conference. We'll continue to add to that rivalry and probably gain some new ones with some of those teams."

South Callaway led 12-8 after one quarter, 22-14 at halftime and 29-14 through three quarters.

"I would say it was one of the more complete games we played all season," Burns said. "Offensively, we were able to hit some big shots. The third quarter was all 3s; we hit four 3s. The first quarter, Reagan hit three of them (3s); Kelsey hit one. ...We shot a lot of 3s, and we had 10 3s. Got to the free-throw line. We weren't as efficient at the free-throw line as I'd like, with 50 percent.

"But our defense was outstanding, especially in the second half. I know in the first half, the Kliethermes girl had 12 of their 14. Didn't score in the third, and then we hold her to three in the fourth. So, that was a big adjustment. But she's their offense; we just got to find a way to shut her down. She's a really good player. Our girls stepped up and made it happen."

For the first time this season, South Callaway (5-20, 2-3 Show-Me) held an opponent scoreless in a quarter, keeping Eugene (3-19, 1-3 Show-Me) off the scoreboard in the third.

"We made a few minor adjustments, and the girls executed really well," Burns said. "...our defensive pressure, they had six girls, so we started wearing them out, and they were getting a little tired. We continued to build momentum. I think our girls kind of saw that, and we just worked so hard in that third quarter, and it's nice to see on the scoreboard and us to shut them out."

Offensively, Reagan Arrowood had quite the night for South Callaway, scoring a game-high 18 points, including five 3s.

Early on, there was a shootout between Lady Bulldog Arrowood and Lady Eagle Ryleigh Kliethermes. Arrowood knocked down three 3s in the first, 75 percent of South Callaway's points in the quarter, and Kliethermes posted eight of her team-high 15 points (two 3s) then.

"When Reagan's really streaky, when she gets hot, she can put points up in a hurry," Burns said. "...She was feeling it tonight. The Kliethermes girl, she can score in so many different ways. She'll shoot it from anywhere. She has a quick release.

"I think it took our girls a little while to realize just how she moves and how well she can score from different areas because they do a really good job of getting her moving and getting her open and giving her different looks because she's a big offensive threat.

Both teams may have had at least one player getting basket after basket, but the difference was South Callaway's defense and spreading out its offense.

"It was kind of a shootout, and then we kind of settled down a little bit," Burns said. "Our defensive pressure, we forced a lot of turnovers. So, that gave them some fits, and we were able to generate more shots and get more possessions because of our defense."

Making it a solid scoring night for all three Lady Bulldogs juniors, Kelsey Wetherell notched 14 points (four 3s), and McKenzie Laughlin had nine.

"Kelsey shot the ball really well," Burns said. "...McKenzie, her points came from attacking the glass. She was really aggressive."

Looking to keep its winning ways heading into districts, South Callaway faces Dixon (3-17), the alma mater of SC activities director Tony Brandt, in its final regular season game at 5 p.m. Thursday at Dixon High School.

"We're excited about the opportunity," Burns said. "We're going to have a couple of days of practice. We haven't been able to practice for it seems like two weeks. We had four games last week. We had some tournaments, so it'll be nice to have a couple of days of practice and get things cleaned up before we go into districts and our final game against Dixon."