If there were a textbook on how to beat the Cave City Cavewomen, the first two chapters would probably go something like this:
1. Don't allow Cave City to turn the game into a full-court, run-and-gun affair.
2. Don't allow Cave City to get hot beyond the 3-point line and play bombs away.
Whether or not there is such a textbook, that's exactly the game plan that the Viola Lady Longhorns used to upset the Cavewomen in the finals of the 2005 Lyon College Invitational Tournament at Becknell Gymnasium in Batesville Dec. 10.
By slowing the game down and playing on its own terms, the Lady Horns knocked off Cave City 33-25 to win their first-ever Lyon College Crown.
The number of the night was 0. As in zero 3-point field goals made by the normally deadly-shooting Cavewomen.
However, a 3-point play did figure huge on the game.
It wasn't a shot beyond the arc; rather it was a traditional 3-point play that came deep in the fourth period that pushed Viola to the title.
Cave City had edged within two points of the lead, 26-24, when Micah Thompson ripped down an offensive rebound and stuck it back in for a big hoop. Thompson was also fouled on the play and stepped to the line and dropped in a free throw to boost the Lady Horns' advantage to five, 29-24, with 1:37 left in the game. Thompson fired in a game-high 17 points on the night and was named tournament MVP for her efforts.
Cave City could manage just one lone free throw down the stretch after Thompson's 3-point play, and Viola held on to win by eight points.
Sluggish shooting plagued Cave City all night long, as just three Cavewomen found the scoring column for the game.
From the game's outset, the Cavewomen used a full-court, trapping defense to create turnovers and try to bait Viola into playing at a faster pace than it wanted.
This worked to a small degree early, as All-Tournament member Leah Fugett (12 points) scored four points for Cave City in the first period.
A steal off a Lady Horn turnover turned into a layup for Kayla Qualls (11 points) at the end of the first that put Cave City on top 8-5 after one. Qualls played her way to All-Tournament honors over the course of the week.
The second period was more the way the Lady Horns prefer to play; work the ball around the perimeter and then dish it inside to Thompson.
This worked like a charm as Thompson scored six points in the period, while Teegan Baumunk (five points) also added a pair of inside hoops.
The Cavewomen just could not find their comfort zone on offense, missing open treys while struggling to get the ball in at even point-blank range.
Down 16-14 at the half, Cave City did manage to tie the game at 16-all on a Qualls hoop to start the third.
Jamie Dailey (10 points), named to the All-Tournament squad, broke the tie with a hoop, and a Thompson layup ended the third with Viola on top to stay, 22-19 after three.
Cave City dragged its shooting woes into the final frame, as nothing, including charity tosses, could find the mark for the cold Cavewomen.
Viola upped its lead to five midway into the frame and held off Cave City to claim the tourney crown.
Adlena Coggins added one point for the Lady Longhorns.
Joanna Anderson finished with two points for Cave City.
Although it was slow going, the Lady Horns (15-4) advanced to the finals with a 25-17 win over the Concord Lady Pirates in the semi-final round Dec. 9.
Concord did not notch any points in the first period until the 30-second mark, at which time the Lady Pirates trailed 7-2. Micah Thompson (12 points) logged all seven of Viola's points in the first period.
Viola didn't exactly set the nets on fire in the game, either. The Lady Longhorns managed just six points in the second, but still took a 13-8 lead to intermission.
Cortney Winter (five points) opened the third with a triple for Viola, helping the Lady Longhorns to a 19-11 advantage after three.
Concord could find only six points in the final frame, with Viola moving on to the finals with a sluggish 25-17 victory.
Dailey added four points for the Lady Horns, with Coggins and Mikita Thompson hitting for two points each.
The first half of Viola's quarterfinal win over the top-seeded Cedar Ridge Lady Timberwolves was equally as slow-paced as their semi-final game turned out to be.
Despite scoring just two points in the first period, and 14 for the first half, Viola upset Cedar Ridge 38-28 Dec. 8.
The Lady Timberwolves led 4-2 after one, and Viola rallied a bit to take a 14-6 lead at halftime.
Cedar Ridge got within four points of the lead in the fourth, but Winter tossed in all eight of her points in the frame, including six big free throws, as the Lady Horns prevailed by 10 points.
Micah Thompson led the way with 20, while Coggins and Dailey had four points apiece. Baumunk followed with two points for Viola.
Using an 11-5 burst in the fourth period, Viola held off the Mount Pleasant Lady Bluebirds 40-33 in tournament-opening action Dec. 7.
Dailey paved the way with a game-high 19 points, while Micah Thompson finished with nine and Coggins eight. Winter and Baumunk posted two points each.
Erica Biard paced Mount Pleasant with 18, while Codi Womack followed with 13. Ariane Qualls had nine, and Ashley Smith one for the Lady Bluebirds.