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Smothering Defensive Effort Leads Exeter To Class 1 Girls Championship


Defensive Effort
Leads Exeter To Class
1 Girls Championship

By David Sharp

   Top ranked Exeter threw a defensive blanket over a quick Marion
County team and handed the Lady Mustangs (27-5) a convincing 56-31 defeat in
the 2009 MSHSAA Class 1 girls’ championship game. The Lady Tigers (30-1)
outscored Marion County in every quarter.

   Exeter, a southwest Missouri community 15 miles from the Arkansas
border jumped out to an 11-4 first quarter lead.

   The Lady Tigers shot the ball better, holding a 46-23% overall
advantage in shooting percentage. Much of the credit for that statistic should
go to a tenacious defensive effort by Exeter.

   The Lady Mustangs were unable to get much of an offensive flow.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well. We came out cold. That changed the complexion
of the game,” commented Marion County coach Mike Johnson.

   Missouri State University signee Whitney Edie led the Tigers
with a game high 25 point effort. The 6’1” forward pulled down seven of the
Tiger’s 25 rebounds.

   Marion County trailed 15-9 in the first quarter after a game
changing 7-0 Tiger run.

   Exeter shot the ball well from the perimeter, taking a 30-18
halftime lead. Marion County had a good scoring opportunity as time ran down in
the second quarter but could not get the ball into the cylinder.

   The Lady Mustangs missed numerous inside shots and turned the
ball over 20 times. Exeter recorded 18 points off turnovers during the contest.
The Tigers pushed their advantage to 41-26 after three quarters of play.

   Exeter dominated the game defensively in the fourth quarter. Marion
County kept battling to the end, evening out a decided Tiger advantage in
second chance points with five in the final eight minutes.

   Freshman center Jessica Redd led Marion County with a 15 point
13 rebound, five block effort. Redd tied a single game Show-Me Showdown record
with eight blocked shots against Bakersfield in the semi-final round.

   Jordan Johnson pulled down ten rebounds with four Mustang points.
Ranay Sharpe scored eight points with five Marion County rebounds. Both teams
attempted 47 shots from the field. Exeter sank 22 shots to 11 for Marion

   The 25 point game closing margin was the largest of the contest.
Exeter dominated defensively in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Lady
Mustangs by a 15-5 margin.

   “When you struggle as much as we did on offense, it affects your
defense too,” said Mike Johnson.

   The second place Marion County finish was the best in school
history, Kayla Tuley and Melanie Thaden played their final games for Marion