Two young teams, but one is more experienced and that team won as Gibson Southern basketball girls took early control, repelled comeback tries and won 56-41 from Princeton Community Friday night in Tiger Arena.

“I think experience made a difference,” said Gibson Southern coach Mark Monroe, whose Lady Titans started three sophomores and a junior and a senior, including four who started regularly last season.

“Yes, I think experience was a factor. Gibson Southern had composure and executed,” said Princeton Coach Brittany Maners, whose lineup included two freshmen, a junior and two seniors, but only one player with varsity experience before this season.

“Princeton will be pretty good the next couple years. They’re quick and quick to the ball. But we came in wanting to play our game and slow them down,” said Gibson Southern junior Tabby Klem, who scored 12 points in a 31-22 first half and finished with 15 to tie Lady Tigers senior Kiare Young for the game-high.

Five-ten sophomore Meredith Raley, sister of Lady Titans all-time scoring leader and current Missouri Science & Technology starter Maddie Raley, parleyed 10 points with 9 rebounds and 5 shot-blocks as she and teammates gave themselves a 3-1 record to take Tuesday against visiting Evansville Bosse. Friday marked their third straight win over Princeton after the Lady Tigers won 10 straight in the Jackie Young era.

Five-seven sophomore Shay Whitten scored nine Gibson Southern points, including a third-quarter-opening three-point hit after the Lady Tigers scored the first half’s last six points to slice a 31-16 deficit. Another 5-7 sophomore, lefty Claire Jones, scored eight. Five-six senior guard Skylar Boes settled for six points, but, “Skylar leads this team and takes care of the basketball,” said Monroe, whose Lady Titans have won 206 times around 69 losses in his 12 seasons.

Five-seven freshman Hannah Sisk scored 11 Princeton points, including 7-for-7 free throwing. Five-eight freshman lefty Reaghan Page scored 10, including a pair of threes the second quarter when the Lady Tigers, who seek to rebound Tuesday night when they pit a 4-1 record vs. visiting Heritage Hills, cut into 25-11 and 31-16 deficits.

“Gibson Southern;’s defense took us out of what we like to do offensively. They packed the paint and often took away our dribble-drive offense. and we didn’t have the best shot selection,” said Maners, who, including four years at Evansville Central, has guided her teams to 90 wins around 15 losses.

“This was the kind of game I thought it would be,” Monroe said. “I knew it would be a tough, up-and-down game. We had to control tempo and for the most part we did. For three quarters we played good defense. Offensively, we had to keep the ball in the middle and keep them from trapping us.”

Gibson Southern never trailed. Klem began the scoring by making one of two foul shots and hit a three before junior Keona Louis scored the Lady Tigers’ first point by hitting one of two foul shots. After Sisk and Young scored to move the hosts within 8-5, Raley scored from Boes’ assist and Jones drove half-court for a layup after making an interception. Whitten’s two free throws capped the 14-6 first quarter.

Klem on a dropstep and drive, Boes after making an interception, Klem after an interception, two free throws each by Klem and Raley and one by Boes produced the 11-0 run to 25-11 control. Page’s three, Young’s rebound hoop and Page’s free throw closed the 31-22 half. Whitten’s three began a third-quarter-starting 7-0 run that included two foul shots by sophomore sub Ellie Maikranz and Raley’s rebound basket. Lady Tigers junior sub Emma Sartore made one free throw, then Young two freebies and a driving layup to move the Lady Tigers within 41-33. But Klem made one foul shot, Whitten made a driving layup with 3.7 seconds left the third quarter, and the margin never became less than nine.

——

Gibson Southern jayvees, their record 3-1, roared to a 28-0 first-quarter lead and won Friday’s opener 58-10. Maikranz, before seeing varsity time, scored nine jayvee points. So did 5-8 freshman Kylie Osborne, who hit a three. Five-nine freshman Kyra Menke scored seven. Five-six soph Maci Foster hit a three in matching the six points of both 5-7 sophomore Hallie Fleetwood and 5-8 freshman Kami Miller. Five-eight junior Katalyn Schafer led Princeton jayvees, who also went scoreless the third quarter, with five. Five-four junior Audra Carter hit a three.

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