JOPLIN, Mo. — Good things come to those who wait.
It had been nearly 20 years since the last time the McAuley Catholic girls basketball team had won a sectional game. That drought came to an end Wednesday, as the Lady Warriors defeated Montrose 70-45 to advance to the Class 1 state quarterfinals.
Their sectional win is the first since 2002, and just the third in program history.
“I thought it was really important, and our girls thought it was really important to jump out tonight and get the crowd into it,” head coach Mike Howard said. “You know, we played this team last year and they ended our season. So it was nice to jump out and get the crowd into it and really give our girls an extra jolt in that first quarter.”
The Lady Warriors were lead in scoring by junior Kennedy DeRuy, who made 6 three pointers on her way to a 31 point performance. Fellow junior Kayleigh Teeter joined her in double figures with 22 points.
“I really think we brought it out tonight,” DeRuy said. “It was a whole team win. Everyone did exceptionally well. I think everyone was on their A game and they knew this was a big game and they came in, we came in and we did our job and got the job done.”
With the win, McAuley moves to 20-8 on the season. The Lady Warriors will face two time defending state champions Walnut Grove in the state quarterfinal. Tip off from Walnut Grove High School is set for 1 p.m. Saturday.