Thayer High School played host to a South Central Association contest pitting the Lady Panthers from Mountain Grove against the homestanding Lady Bobcats on Jan. 9.
In the JV girls' basketball clash, the play was rough -- more like a rugby match -- thanks to physical play allowed by the officiating.
There was probably a lot of scrapes, bangs, bruises and stitches, resulting from this game.
Although the young Lady Bobcats suffered from a lot of basic errors, which led to turnovers, their hustle and ball movement to find open teammates netted the junior varsity team a "W" over the JV Lady Panthers, 56-36.
In the varsity match-up, the young Lady Panthers held a height advantage in the post and had some real quickness on the perimeter, but Thayer's defense in the passing lanes led to quite a few Mountain Grove turnovers.
Steals and rebounds by Laken Martin and Meshila Mullins found Jordan Alford and Emily Eckman headed down court for layups and Lady Bobcat points.
The Lady Bobcats' 12-9 lead at the end of the first, expanded to 29-20 going into the locker-room for the half.
Elly Burrell picked up the pace in the second half, blocking a Lady Panther shot, battling on the boards and driving the lanes for Thayer points.
Mountain Grove kept up the fight and managed to pull within three at the end of the third period, down 46-43.
The Lady Bobcats got some valuable floor time from Laken Hollis and Molly Honeycutt, who added a boost on both ends of the floor.
Four of the Lady Bobcats starters were in double figures for the night, with Laken Martin netting 16, and Emily Eckman following with 15.
Jordan Alford tallied 13 and Elly Burrell picked up 12 hard-fought points, before picking up her fifth foul late in the final frame.
And in the end, the well-rounded Lady Bobcats ended the night with a 63-51 victory over Mountain Grove.