The College of the Ozarks Lady Bobcats came into Saturday’s contest against Ecclesia College having won four in a row and looking to keep the streak alive. Fans at Keeter Gymnasium were not left to wonder about the outcome for very long.
Taylor Rush put the Lady Cats on the board first with a basket, but Ecclesia quickly answered. The Lady Cat defense then went on display as the next 18 points went to the Lady Cats and Ecclesia struggled to find the basket. Jordan Wersinger connected for three baskets, Taylor Rush drained a pair of threes, and Kayley Frank and Blythe Benefield each added a basket to put the Lady Cats up 20-2. Neither team scorched the net the rest of the quarter and the Lady Cats went into the break leading 23-6.
A pair of threes by Avery Arnold and Jada Henry greeted the Royals out of the huddle and the Lady Cat defense clamped down for the opening 3:00 of the frame. A Royal basket at the 7:01 mark broke the silence, but an Annie Noah basket and another Taylor Rush three provided the response. Ecclesia was able to squeak in another pair of baskets but the Lady Cat pressure was too much to overcome. A pair of Kayley Frank free throws bumped the lead to 36-12 with 3:29 left in the half, and neither team would score the rest of the way.
Leading 36-12 coming out of the locker room, Taylor Rush drilled another three to start the offense. Jordan Wersinger, Blythe Benefield, and Kayley Frank added to the lead fueling an 18-0 run. Isabel Rohlfing and Susanna Moran jumped in the scoring column and the Lady Cats were up 59-12 before Ecclesia could score. A Royal three pointer broke the string, but the damage had long been done. A pair of Rohlfing free throws closed out the quarter and the Lady Cat lead was 61-15.
The Royals continued to play hard and scored the first points of the final frame. Avery Arnold quickly answered with a basket, but the Royals had found a little bit of life. The teams would trade baskets over the next 1:02 and the Lady Cats led 70-24 with 7:15 left to play. A Katie Mayes three was followed by a pair of Isabel Rohlfing free throws and baskets by Susanna Moran and Avery Arnold. Each team would hit a free throw down the stretch, with Jada Henry doing the honors for the Lady Cats. The lead was 82-25 as time expired and the Lady Cats had secured their fifth consecutive win.
Taylor Rush led all scorers with 16 points off 4-6 shooting from beyond the arc. Kayley Frank also recorded double figures with 13 and Isabel Rohlfing contributed 9 points in the win. Susanna Moran grabbed 10 rebounds to go with her eight points, and Jordan Wersinger chipped in eight points as well. Avery Arnold and Jada Henry each added seven points, Katie Mayes and Annie Noah each chipped in five and Blythe Benefield tacked on four.
The Lady Cats will be in action at home, next Saturday, January 28th when they host Kansas Christian College at 1 PM.