Lady Pintos defeat Hallsville Lady Indians

California senior Meleigha Caudel (10) gets past Fatima's Kate Massman (15) and Kristen Boeckmann (22) with a layup during the second quarter of the varsity game Thursday night at California High School. The Lady Comets won 53-44.

California senior Meleigha Caudel (10) gets past Fatima's Kate Massman (15) and Kristen Boeckmann (22) with a layup during the second quarter of the varsity game Thursday night at California High School. The Lady Comets won 53-44. Photo by April Arnett.

The California Lady Pinto basketball teams were on the road Wednesday, Jan. 22, for games at Hallsville, where the varsity defeated the Lady Indians for a big conference win, 52-42.

Hallsville led 12-8 after the first quarter, however, the Lady Pintos came back to outscore the Lady Indians 12-7 in the second quarter, 15-11 in the third, and 17-12 in the fourth to secure the win.

California was led by Meleigha Caudel who was 9-10 at the free-throw line and ended the night with 14 points, all in the second half. Sydney Deeken followed with 12 points. Kamryn Koetting chipped in with eight, while Mara Caudel contributed six points.

Hallsville was led by Nadine Kaufman with 13 points, and Jordan Dinyer with 12. Katlin Proctor added six points.

California's JV also defeated Hallsville, 33-27.

California hosted Fatima Thursday, where the varsity suffered a 53-44 loss to the Lady Comets.

The Lady Pintos led 5-0 at the start of the game and the Lady Comets didn't get into the scoring action until Morgan Brandt hit a 3-pointer with 4:19 remaining, to leave Fatima trailing 5-3. By the end of the first quarter, however, the Lady Comets had pulled ahead 15-10, and led 29-22 at the half.

Fatima outscored California 8-6 in the third quarter to lead 37-28 going into the final frame. The Lady Pintos got within four points of the Lady Comets with just 1:14 remaining with help from Meleigha Caudel, however, Fatima's Sammey Bunch was 6-6 at the free-throw line in the final moments to help secure the win for the Lady Comets, 53-44.

California was led by Caudel with 19 points, while Deeken scored 12.

Fatima (10-4) was led by Brandt with 22 points. Annie Bock followed with 13.

Following the loss, California Coach Bobby Sangster said, "This has been one of the most challenging seasons I've been a part of. We've had so many minor injuries that we haven't been able to get a flow going. Many of the girls have missed some time due to injury or illness, so it's been difficult to get the rhythm we need. Right now we're dealing with Sydney's back and Kelsey's head (concussion). They're both out for a while and we're going to take extended time before districts to get them healthy."

California's JV lost a close contest to Fatima, 37-35.

California played Warsaw Monday night in the first round of the Russellville Girls First Annual Basketball Tournament, where the top-seeded Lady Pintos took the sixth-seeded Lady Wildcats down 68-13.

"It was a good game for us on the scoreboard," Sangster said.

The Lady Pintos, playing without Deeken and Roush, outscored the Lady Wildcats 23-2 in the first quarter, 14-0 in the second, 19-8 in the third, and 12-3 in the fourth, led by Meleigha Caudel with 18 points. Caitlin Meyer scored 10 points, while Ashtyn Goans and Koetting each had eight.

In other action Monday at the Russellville Tourney, third-seeded Father Tolton defeated fourth-seeded Belle 51-26, and second-seeded Russellville defeated fifth-seeded Versailles 63-54.

"There are very good teams in this tournament," Sangster said. "And anytime you play Russellville on their home court, they're tough. I wouldn't count anybody out."

In the semifinal round Tuesday, California played Belle, Father Tolton faced Russellville, and Versailles played Warsaw, however, game results were not available at press time.

The Russellville Tournament will wind up Thursday with the consolation game scheduled for 5 p.m., the third place game at 6:30 p.m., and the championship game at 8 p.m.

The Lady Pintos (11-6 and 2-1 in Tri-County Conference) will be back in action at home Thursday, Feb. 6, hosting Eldon. The freshman game will begin at 5 p.m. with the JV and varsity games to follow, respectively.

"When we are all healthy, I think we could shock some people," Sangster said looking ahead. "We will continue to get better every day, and I'm excited to go into conference and districts."

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