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The Milan Ladycats were host to the Skyline Lady Tigers on Saturday, March 6, 2021 in the Class 111 State Quarter Finals. It was quite an honor for the Milan Ladycats to be able to host a State Quarter Final basketball contest. Both squads matched up very close in all categories and there was quite a buzz in the new facilities at Milan High School. The winner of this contest would move on to the final four in Springfield, MO.
Milan led at the end of the first quarter, but once the Lady Tigers went in front early in the second quarter, Milan could not get back in the driver’s seat. The Ladycats would stay close, cutting the deficit, but Skyline always seemed to have the answers to hold off the hometown Ladycats. Milan was within 4 points with 20 seconds left, but spot-on free throw shooting by Skyline proved the difference. Skyline 70, Milan 64. The Ladycats committed several turnovers and the Lady Tigers were able to capitalize on the miscues.
Milan won the opening tip, Cady brought the crowd to their feet, drilling, drilling a patented long 3-pointer and Milan led 3-0. Skyline kept their poise, scored 5 points and went in front 5-3. Milan had their own 5-0 run. Cady assisted on a Jordyn 2-pointer, then the next possession Jordyn went outside, knocking down a trey and an 8-5 Milan advantage. Just like a great boxing match, Skyline answered with a 3 as did Cady, 11-11. Fanny had an assist to Cady, who hit nothing but nylon and her third 3 of the opening quarter, 14-11. Three points by Skyline tied the game at 14. As the clock ran down, Cady made a sweet assist to Jordyn for 2 points. Milan had the lead 16-14 and the crowd went wild. Cady had 9 points, Jordyn 7. The Milan 1-2 punch appeared in sink, which has always proved positive. The Ladycats were determined to leave the court with a win. However, the Skyline Lady Tigers did not travel this distance to lose. Their smothering full court pressure by Skyline had the Ladycats working extra hard for positive results. The constant pressure caused several Ladycat miscues.
The second quarter saw Skyline rip off 5 straight points for a 19-16 lead. They would maintain their advantage the rest of the contest. Cady converted 2 free throws, but 5 straight by Skyline upped their margin to 6, 24-18. The teams exchanged buckets the rest of the quarter with Skyline taking a 34-30 lead to the locker room. Cady had 8 points, Emma came off the bench with a spark, scoring 4 and grabbing 3 rebounds. Jordyn added 2 points.
Both squads hit for16 points apiece in the third quarter as the Ladycats could not cut the deficit, 50-46 after 3 quarters. Milan would get to within 1 or 2 points, but the Lady Tigers didn’t become rattled and maintained their lead. With tight defense, and strong rebounding, and getting several opportunities on second shots, Skyline built a 42-34 lead. Then Cady outscored the Lady Tigers 9-2 on 3 straight, spectacular 3-pointers, and Milan trailed 44-43. Skyline outscored Milan 6-3 the rest of the quarter to stay in front 50-46 at the buzzer. Cady had 12 points; Jordyn 2 points and 4 rebounds; Auburn 2 points, and 2 rebounds.
The final stanza saw Skyline run off 8 straight points, and cushion their lead to 12 points, 58-46 with 5 minutes to play. The Ladycats were not about to give up. Plenty of time left especially with a 3-point player named Cady Pauley. Jordyn Gray also a strong weapon inside and outside. After a timeout, Auburn and Cady each hit a deuce, 58-50, 4 minutes to play. Jordyn hit a couple driving 2-pointers, answering Skyline buckets. Milan trailed 65-58 with 49 seconds to play when Cady was fouled in 3-point territory. Cady connected all 3, 65-61. Skyline made their free throws down the stretch. Cady knocked down another 3 with 8.4 seconds on the clock, 68-64. Two more Lady Tiger charity tosses ended the scoring. Skyline 70, Milan 64.
The Ladycats should hold their heads high, cause what a season they had. They ranked most of the season, winners of 2 tournaments, Eastern Division GRC Champions, Class 111 District 16 Champions, win over Lawson to reach the State Quarter Finals, 22-5 record. In this unsettled basketball season, what a victory to be able to stay focused, consistent, and successful.
CONGRATULATIONS on a wonderful season. Quite a run!
Cady led Milan with 39 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks; Jordyn ended her High School career with an all out effort reaching another double-double 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 1 steal; Auburn 6 points, and 4 rebounds; Emma Whitlock 4 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 steal; Fanny another incredible Senior playing her last basketball game continued doing all the intangibles that don’t show up in the box score, but lead to team success had 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, and 1 block; Janissa 4 rebounds; Hallie Weaver 1 rebound