Looking for their first championship in a couple of years in the Van Buren Lady Dawg Classic, the second-seeded Thayer Lady Bobcats came up a bit short as they fell to the third-seeded and home-standing Van Buren Lady Bulldogs, the tourney's eventual champs, 48-42 in semi-final action Dec. 1.
LaShanda Horton paced Thayer with 17 points in the loss.
Thayer rebounded from the loss to Van Buren by winning the third-place game over Alton by a count of 50-37 Dec. 3.
Sticky defense on the part of the Lady Cats limited the Lady Comets to just four field goals in the first half of play.
The Lady Cats led 14-4 after the first half of play and turned that into a 29-11 advantage at intermission.
Opening the third with a 10-0 burst, Alton narrowed the gap to eight points, 29-21, with three minutes left in the frame.
The Lady Cats regrouped and hit Alton with a 10-0 blast of its own to take a 39-21 lead into the final frame, en route to the 50-37 victory.
Micah Steven paced the Lady Bobcats with 13 points, while Horton logged 12, and Heather Coffel seven. Krysta Adams finished with five, and Autumn Forschler four. Chelsey Cabrales ended the game with three, while Brittany Allen, April Risner and Kacey Simms had two points apiece for Thayer.
Save for a late stretch right before the half, the Lady Cats hardly broke a sweat as they blasted the Neelyville Lady Tigers out of the Big Spring water by a count of 62-32 Nov. 28 in the opening round of the tournament.
The seventh-seeded Lady Tigers used up all their offensive firepower during the first 16 minutes of their tilt with Thayer.
After scoring 22 points during the first half of play, Neelyville could manage just 10 the rest of the way as the Lady Bobcats cruised.
The Lady Tigers were so off balance in the third period that Thayer outscored them 21-zip in the frame.
As a matter of fact, Lady Bobcat freshman Micah Steven's third-period performance alone would have been enough for Thayer to stay on top. Steven tossed in 12 of her game-high 21 points in the third, two more than Neelyville posted in periods three and four combined.
Thayer opened the contest with the first six points of the night, including four from Horton (nine points), and the Lady Cats led 21-8 after one.
Coffel (15 points) paved the way for Thayer in the second by firing in eight points in the frame, helping the Lady Bobcats to a 29-13 lead with 3:56 left until the break.
The Lady Tigers regrouped and put together their most productive stretch of the night right before intermission.
Neelyville closed the frame on a 9-4 run, including a 3-pointer heaved in at the buzzer, to pull closer, down 33-22 at halftime.
That was basically it for the Lady Tigers' comeback bid, as Thayer righted its ship with stout defense in the second half en route to a 30-point blowout.
Adams posted seven points for Thayer, while Simms added six. Cabrales and Sara Riley finished with two points apiece for the Lady Bobcats.