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Friday, May 6, 2016

Couch claims second Walnut Grove title

Thursday, January 8, 2009

COUCH LADY INDIANS: Back row, from left are: Coach Cecil Meyer, Calee Risner, Rachel Armstead, Sadee Risner, Jessica Jones, Lorra Wicker, Aminta Garrison, Lizzie Nessling and Whitney Mills; middle row: Kobe Meyer, Michelle Hoover, Jordan Hale, Crystal Britt and Stephanie Nessling; front row: Alisha Reynolds, Kattie Stensloff, Cassie Roberts and Tara Combs
It had all the ingredients for a tasty pre-New Year's Eve holiday treat.

A pair of undefeated teams, the top two teams in the brackets, going head-to-head for a tournament championship.

And when the smoke cleared from this one, it was the Couch Lady Indians who remained unbeaten on the year, thanks to a hard-earned 43-38 victory over the Exeter Lady Tigers in the finals of the Walnut Grove Holiday Tournament on Dec. 30.

Not only did the victory over second-seeded Exeter keep Couch's record spotless at 9-0, it also gave the Lady Indians back-to-back titles in the annual 16-team Walnut Grove Tournament.

And the championship clash between the top-seeded Lady Indians and Exeter was a defensive battle from start to finish.

At the end of a low-scoring quarter, Exeter was up 7 -6.

But at halftime, Couch had rallied to pull ahead 18- 16.

At the end of the third period of play, Couch remained on top by two, 29-27.

As it turns out, this cushion proved to be enough for the lady Indians to fend off the Lady Tigers for a 43-38, championship-clinching victory. Whitney Mills led Couch with 15 points, while Lorra Wicker, Lizzie Nessling, and Tara Combs each added eight points apiece. Jessica Jones finished with four points.

Mills and Combs made the All-Tournament team, and Mills was named the tournament MVP.

In the semis on Dec. 29, the Lady Indians knocked off fourth-seeded Fordland 53-38.

The Lady Eagles, a squad Couch beat in the tourney semi-finals last year, proved to be an offensive threat early in this year's tournament, averaging 67 points a game.

But that came to a screeching halt when Fordland met the defense from the Lady Indians.

Couch held the Lady Eagles to 10 points in the first half, and the Lady Indians were up 24-10 at intermission.

After three periods of play, Couch stood in front 36-14.

Couch had two players in double figures, Mills with 22 points and Combs with 17 points.

Wicker posted seven points, Lizzie Nessling finished with four, Jones had two, and Sadee Risner ended the game with one point.

In the second round on Dec. 27, Couch blew past the eighth-seeded tournament hosts from Walnut Grove 54-39.

Mills led Couch with 18 points, Combs finished with 13 points and Wicker logged with 12 points.

Nessling added seven points, while Risner and Cassie Roberts tallied two points each.

The Lady Indians opened tourney play on Dec. 20 with a 63-17 rout of the 16th-seeded Ash Grove JV team.

Mills paced Couch with 18 points, while Roberts added nine. Risner had seven, and Nessling added six.

Wicker and Rachel Armstead finished with five points apiece, with Jones and Crystal Britt adding with four points each. Combs tallied with three points, and Jordan Hale had two points for Couch.

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