SPRINGFIELD — Versailles won its seventh consecutive district championship by beating Bethel-Tate 58-45 in a Division III district final on Saturday in Springfield.
“Bethel-Tate is a great team and I felt like our girls faced some adversity and were able to overcome it,” Versailles coach Tracy White said. “I felt like as a team we played really solid and everybody played as a team.”
The Tigers (18-8) advance to face Anna in a regional semifinal on Wednesday in Springfield. Versailles beat the Rockets 43-39 in a nonconference game on Dec. 26 in Anna.
Versailles jumped out to a 14-2 lead after one period of play led by five Daniel Kunk points, including a 3-pointer. Brooke Stonebraker added four points, Lindsey Winner added three and Emma George added two.
Versailles pushed its lead to 27-13 at 1:23 in the second quarter of play, taking the second period 14-11 over Bethel-Tate sending the teams to the halftime break with Versailles leading 28-13.
Caitlin McEldowney paced Versailles second quarter play with seven points, including a 3-pointer.
Bethel-Tate battled back using a 17-9 run to open third quarter play to make it a seven-point 37-30 Versailles lead with 2:09 on the clock.
Versailles took advantage of 7-3 scoring to close out the third and lead 44-33 with one quarter to play. The third quarter proved to be the lone quarter Tate would own, taking the period 20-16.
Lindsey Winner accounted for eight Versailles third quarter points, McEldowney drilled a 3-pointer, Katelyn Marshal hit a basket and free throw for three points and Stonebraker went 2 for 2 at the line.
Bethel-Tate continued to battle making it a six-point game, trailing Versailles 45-39 with 4:57 on the fourth quarter board only to have the Tigers put the game away outscore Bethel-Tate 13-6 to close out scoring on the day and earn a 13-point victory.
“Lindsey Winner and Brooke Stonebraker played really good inside, rebounding and scoring as well — defensively can’t say enough about those two,” White said. “Caitlin McEldowney played really well and Danielle Kunk. Then you add Abbey Stammen on defense and Brooke (Stonebraker) being able to play such a defense. Hannah Barga was able to get back from her injury and give us some quality minutes.”
The Tigers will look to make a run at another regional championship this week in Springfield. The squad has a 14-2 record in its previous 16 tournament games played in Springfield.
“You have to show up and play,” White stated. “It doesn’t really matter, even in the sectional you’re going to meet teams that are good and then you get to the district and on and they just get better and better.”
Winner led Versailles with 17 points while McEldowney scored 13, Stonebraker scored 12 and Kunk scored nine.
Reach Greenville Daily Advocate sports editor Gaylen Blosser at (937) 548-3330.