By Russ Green-Sports Editor
The Richmond Lady Spartans got past MRVC East foe Knob Noster Monday night to make their first district semifinal appearance in two years. However, the Lady Spartans met top-seeded O’Hara Wednesday night, and despite playing the Celtics on fairly even terms through the first half, had their season come to an end with a 54-30 decision.
Although he was disappointed in having the season end, Richmond Coach David Littrell was proud of how his team finished.
“They played hard all the way,” he said. “We played really great defense, especially in the first half, but O’Hara just had too much experience and had a few more weapons. The girls are disappointed they are done for the year, but are already talking about next year and how they can keep improving.”
It was the sixth straight win for O’Hara, now 19-7, as the Celtics will meet Higginsville in the championship game. The Lady Huskers defeated St. Paul 50-36 in the other semifinal.
Madison Williams led the way for O’Hara as she hit five buckets outside the arc to score a game-high 24 points. Amanda Hull was also in double figures with 12 points while Cyndee Reese chipped in 9.
The Lady Spartans trailed early 5-0, and 9-4, before they knotted the game at 9-all with 2 minutes remaining in the first period. O’Hara went on a run to take an 18-11 lead into the second quarter, but Richmond cut the deficit to 3 points early in the period. A 3-pointer just before by buzzer by Williams gave O’Hara a 25-17 lead at the break.
The Celtics picked up the defensive pressure as the second half unfolded, forcing some Richmond turnovers. O’Hara turned those miscues into fast-break buckets and a 33-17 lead with 5:35 left in the third quarter. The Celtics continued to build their lead throughout the remainder of the game.
Miya O’Dell and Jenny Simpson led Richmond with 12 points apiece. Maddy Zeller, Leslyn Cole and Madison Cole added 2 each.