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CENTRALIA — Junior forward Sydney Hedgpath tallied 16 points as the Lady Hornets bowed to the Lady Panthers on Friday night.

The loss was the sixth in a row for Fulton (2-8), which was only down 10-8 after one quarter. Centralia, though, outscored the Lady Hornets 23-11 in the second quarter to build a 33-19 halftime lead.

The Lady Panthers carried a 48-34 advantage into the fourth quarter.

Sophomore guard Kiah Pittman provided 14 points for Fulton and junior guard Kayanna Gaines was next with 12.

"Both teams made some really good runs, but Centralia was knocking down free throws and jumped out on us in the second quarter," Lady Hornets head coach Dillan Brunk said.

Mary Kate Bennett responded with a game-high 17 points to direct four players in double figures for the Lady Panthers. Joella Melegrito supplied 15 points and Baylee Beard and Chris Heimann both added 11.

Fulton is the seventh seed in this week's 26th-annual California Tournament. The Lady Hornets face No. 2 seed Marshall — a North Central Missouri Conference opponent — in a first-round matchup at 9 p.m. Monday.

"My message to the girls is to keep working hard in practice and stay upbeat," Brunk said. "We've been competitive in these games. We'll get there — it's just a process."

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