The Dayville/Monument Tiger girls basketball team fell to the Adrian Antelopes 51-45 in Saturday’s District 8 tournament battle for the third seed to the state playoffs.
The Tigers entered the tournament as the west’s No. 2 seed, and Adrian was No. 2 for the east.
Dayville/Monument fought an uphill battle with the Antelopes leading for most of the game.
Adrian was ahead 27-19 at the half and outscored Dayville/Monument 11-7 in the third quarter.
Dayville/Monuments’ defensive intensity increased in the fourth, and the Tigers started to close the 12-point gap.
Tiger Aubrey Bowlus helped her team, earning 9 of her 12 points, including 3-4 at the free-throw line.
In the final 2 minutes, Tiger Denali Twehues added 1-2 at the free-throw line, and Tiger Kyla Emerson went 1-1.
Dayville/Monument fans went wild when Courtney Nichols landed a 3-point shot with one minute to go, and Emerson hit a 2-pointer to move the team within 2 points of Adrian, trailing 47-45.
The Antelopes were able to pull out the win, earning 4-6 free throws in the final 26 seconds.
“It started off slow, but they battled all the way to the end,” said Tiger head coach Taylor Schmadeka. “They made it interesting. We just couldn’t make a couple shots go down that we needed.”
Adrian head coach LaDawn Bayes said her team had a tough start to their season.
“I feel like they stepped up, and they wanted to finish strong,” she said.
Earlier in the season, Dayville/Monument defeated Adrian 55-51 on Jan. 25 in Adrian.
Bayes said that earlier loss was helpful to her team.
“I knew (Dayville/Monument) was not going to back down, so trying to get some fire back helped,” she said. “Knowing they were going to fight for it, we had to fight for it, too.”
Schmadeka praised his team for working hard the entire season.
“Denali, she always plays hard for me,” he said. “She’s consistent. She battles. She’s a warrior out there.”
“Faythe always drives in, and she’s a very smart player,” he said. “Kyla is always athletic. Courtney improved a lot in the season, playing strong down low.”
He said he was glad to have Bowlus back after recovering from an ankle injury and said she performed well.
“The freshmen came up a long ways from when we first started practice until today,” he added. “I’m proud of how the season went overall.”
Dayville/Monument was 56 percent from the free-throw line with 24-43.
The Antelopes were 61 percent with 19-31 free-throws.
Adrians’s Grace Morton was named player of the game.
-Dayville/Monument defeated the No. 3 east Harper Hornets 40-35 on Thursday and fell 57-29 to the No. 1 east Jordan Valley Mustangs on Friday.
Kyla Emerson: 12 (8-14 free throws)
Aubrey Bowlus: 12
Courtney Nichols: 11 (three 3-pointers)
Faythe Schafer: 7 (7-12 free throws)
Denali Twehues: 3 (3-7 free throws)
Stella Nichols: 15 points (11-19 free throws)
Roby Young: 15 (1-2 free throws)
Grace Morton: 10 points (3 three-pointers, 1-2 free throws)
Sadey Speelmon: 6 (one 3-pointer, 3-4 free throws)
Illana Bowen: 4 (2-2 free throws)
Tianna Pierce: 1 (1-2 free throws)