Two big first-half runs by the Viola junior Lady Longhorns were more than enough to offset a late fourth-period run by the Mammoth Spring junior Lady Bears in the championship game of the 1A-2 North District Junior High Tournament Feb. 8 at the Longhorn Corral in Viola.
The top-seeded junior Lady Horns jumped in front early and knocked off second-seeded Mammoth Spring 39-24 to give Viola, the regular-season champs, the district tourney crown.
Leslie Shrable had a big outing for Viola in the championship game, as she led all scorers with 17 points for the junior Lady Horns.
And Shrable set the tempo for the game early, as she buried a pair of treys and scored eight points in the first period.
Mammoth Spring found the going a bit tougher, and a free throw and bucket from Jesse Jo Vest (10 points) was all the junior Lady Bears could muster in the first eight minutes of play.
Down 5-3 at the 3:10 point of the first, things got worse before they got better for Mammoth Spring, with Viola closing the frame with a 10-0 run.
Shrable began this spurt with 3-ball, followed by hoops from Stephanie Dillinger (eight points) and Alex Duncan (three points).
Just as she started it, Shrable ended the run by jacking a triple that gave Viola a 15-3 advantage after one period of play.
Kelsey Armstrong opened the second with a jumper for Mammoth Spring, but that was the junior Lady Bears' entire output of the stanza.
The junior Lady Longhorns capped the first half of play with an 8-0 burst, sealed by back-to-back buckets by Michaela Thompson (eight points) that extended Viola's lead to 23-5 at intermission.
Things were largely the same in the third period, as Mammoth Spring found just five points in the frame, three by Vest, two by Jamie Bellows.
Viola held a 28-10 lead heading into the final period of play, but Mammoth Spring did respond by outscoring the Lady Horns 14-11 in the final six minutes of play.
But it was a little too late at that point for Mammoth Spring to overtake Viola, and the junior Lady Longhorns were crowned district tournament victors with a 39-24 win over the junior Lady Bears.
Lindsay Walker scored two points for Viola.
Kaitlyn Haney and Michelle Risner finished with four points each for Mammoth Spring, while Cheyenne Honeycutt added two.
Viola opened tourney play by hammering fourth-seeded Twin Rivers 43-24 Feb. 4.
The junior Lady Horns jumped on top 15-8 after the first period and then led all the way in the contest.
Shrable paced Viola (14-10) with a game-high 18 points.
The junior Lady Bears topped third-seeded Mount Pleasant 42-26 Feb. 4.
Sage Parish led Mount Pleasant with 19 points.