The Lady Rangers beat Cobden 38-37 back on Dec. 16 and then won one game and lost two in the Trees n’ Trends Itty Bitty Christmas Tournament at Briensburg, Ky.
The win over Cobden was a long time coming. In fact, no one could really remember the last time Joppa’s Lady Rangers had beaten Cobden.
Hailey Kendall and Katie Bennett led the Lady Rangers with 14 and 12 points.
In the Christian Fellowship Academy tournament, the Lady Rangers dropped a three-point decision to Fulton City, then beat Christian Fellowship 49-48 to move to the title game with Community Christian Academy.
The Lady Rangers couldn’t get untracked against Community Christian Academy and fell 58-44.
Joppa put two girls on the all tournament team as high scoring Hailey Kendall was joined by Katie Bennett on the honors team.
The Rangers dropped an 80-42 decision to Century then went one and two in the Trees n’ Trends tournament. They followed that with a 2-1 showing in the Dongola Holiday Round Robin.
At Briensburg, Joppa posted a 10-point 79-69 win over Dawson Springs, lost to Lyon County by a score of 83-50 and dropped a tough game to Community Christian Academy 65-47.
Tyler Castleman was named to the all tournament team at Community Christian Academy.
The Round Robin at Dongola saw the Rangers post big wins over Elverado and Pope County leading up to the championship tilt with Dongola.
With newly eligible Chris Brown adding some much needed depth as well as some height, the Rangers whipped Elverado 71-47. Michael Sparks went off for 30 points in that game with Brown and Castleman adding 14 and 12.
The Rangers put up similar numbers in the Pope County game winning 72-59. Castleman dropped eight three-pointers on the Pirates en route to a 38-point game.
The title game with the Demons from Dongola was a back-and-forth affair that went awry late for the Rangers.
Dongola grabbed a nine-point first quarter lead at 23-14 only to see Joppa rally back to tie the game at 33 with seconds left in the first half.
A half court desperation heave went in for the Demons for a 36-33 lead at intermission.
Joppa torched the Demons for 27 points in the third quarter and held a nine-point lead entering the final eight minutes of play.
But a deadly combination of impatience, unnecessary fouls and Alex Zeschke did Joppa in in the final period.
Some ill advised shots, Hunter Johnson and Chris Brown’s fifth fouls and some fierce defense by Zeschke gave momentum to Dongola and they turned the tables on Joppa with a 28-10 quarter of their own for the final count of 79-70.
Sparks and Castleman were named to the all tournament team.