With the regular season winding down, the Verona Lady Wildcats picked up a pair of wins in Ozark 7 Conference play over the past week. Coach Brenton Hyde's team blew out Exeter at home last Friday before winning a close one on the road at McAuley Catholic on Monday. The team will enter district play next week as a four seed.
The Lady Wildcats jumped out to a huge lead in the first quarter of the Exeter game, leading 23-6 at the end of the period. The Lady Tigers managed to score first in the second quarter, adding three straight three-pointers to close the gap to 10 points.
Verona took a timeout with just less than four minutes remaining in the half and the score at 28-20. After that, things seemed to go more smoothly for the home team, and they went into the locker room at halftime leading 37-23.
The teams played fairly evenly in the third quarter, but the Verona lead was still too large for the Lady Tigers to make much of a comeback. In the fourth quarter, sophomore Twilah Carrasquillo and senior Nicole Stephenson did all the scoring for Verona, increasing the lead to as much as 30 points by the end of the game.
Both finished with double-doubles, Carrasquillo leading the scoring with 26 points, just ahead of Stephenson's 25. They recorded 11 and 13 rebounds, respectively. Senior Madison Shrum also finished with double-digit points, racking up 13 on the night, while sophomore Rita Castillo added six.
In the McAuley game, Carrasquillo recorded another double-double, with 23 points and 15 rebounds, while Shrum added 15 points and nine boards. Stephenson contributed eight points, followed by Castillo's five. Sophomore Gwyneth Henson scored three, and freshman Hailee Wilkinson added two.
Hyde's team will face fifth-seeded School of the Ozarks in the first round of district play at Galena on Monday. The game is scheduled for a 5:15 tip-off.