Aurora, Marionville and Verona girls' basketball teams started their seasons last night in tournament play. Aurora and Verona competed in the Lady Houns Tournament, while Marionville traveled to Ash Grove for the Lady Pirates Classic.


Aurora, Marionville and Verona girls' basketball teams started their seasons last night in tournament play. Aurora and Verona competed in the Lady Houns Tournament, while Marionville traveled to Ash Grove for the Lady Pirates Classic.

Aurora, seeded eighth, matched up with  Mt. Vernon, seeded first, in the tournament. Mt. Vernon led 33-11 at the half with quick ball movement and precise perimeter shooting. The Lady Mountaineers continued increasing the lead in the second half for the 78-26 win. Aurora will next play at 6 p.m., Friday, facing Springfield Central.

Verona, seeded fifth, faced Springfield Central, seeded fourth, in the second game of the night. The Lady Wildcats started off slow on offense, allowing Springfield Central to gain a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter, but the Lady Wildcats soon gained their composure to be up 33-23 at the half.

Verona allowed Central to come back early in the third and the rest of the game was back and forth for the two teams. With about a minute left in the game, Verona trailed by three. Tristan Carrasquillo put Verona within one with 22.5 seconds left in the game, and Central was sent to the free-throw line with 14.4 seconds left. Central missed the one-and-one and sent Jessica Smith to the free-throw line for double bonus free throws. She made both with 10.7 seconds left. Central had a few looks at the basket but nothing fell.

Verona won 64-63. The Lady Wildcats will face Mt. Vernon at 6 p.m., Thursday.

The Marionville Lady Comets, seeded seventh, faced Ash Grove, seeded second, in the first round. Marionville lost 21-65 and will next play at 7:30 p.m., Friday.

The boys will get their chance to play tonight with Aurora traveling to Republic, Marionville hosting a tournament and Verona traveling to Pierce City.

Aurora plays Rogers, Arkansas, in the first round of play at 6 p.m. Marionville faces Blue Eye at 6 p.m., and Verona plays at 7:30 p.m.