Versailles girls basketball ends Lady Tiger Classic with win over Bellefontaine


By Drew Terhall

VERSAILLES — To round out the first annual Prosperity Promotions Lady Tiger Classic, the host Versailles girls basketball team defeated Bellefontaine 53-31.

Head coach Tracy White said the long day at the gym was worth it as the coaches participating in the event have told her they want to come back and compete again next season. It seemed like the first go around was a success.

“It’s always fun to spend a whole day in the gym. But, by the end of the day you feel like you’re playing a game at 10 o’clock but you’re not. It’s the normal time,” White said. “All of the games were super competitive. For the first one, it went as smooth as it possibly could of.”

In the final game, both offenses got off to a slow start. But junior Sarah Stammen stepped up and jump started the offense. She had seven of the team’s nine points in the first quarter.

White said Stammen was that spark they needed to get going. The Lady Tigers scored 16 points in the second quarter and led 25-11 at halftime. The defense shut down the Lady Chieftains offense and used that momentum to get going on offense.

White said the team has started to do the little things on defense and that has led to the offense improving.

“Our girls are really clicking and really focusing on the defensive end, which is translating into our offensive continuity and our offensive success,” White said.

Stammen and junior Taylor Wagner combined for 18 of the team’s 25 points as each player had nine points.

Bellefontaine came out at halftime and started to crawl their way back into the game. They started to attack the rim and capitalize on a few turnovers from Versailles.

Versailles had their double-digit lead get cut down to single digits, 30-21, with 2:45 left in the third quarter.

But the Lady Tigers didn’t panic and started to separate themselves by executing on offense. White said the team has been playing unselfish offense by being able to execute the inside-out game. The guards get the ball inside when they can while the post players have been able to kick it outside when the guards have been open.

Senior Jenna Dirksen showed her skills as a knock down shooter. She was or close to perfect from three-point range knocking down five threes. She made two threes in the third quarter to get the team going.

White said Dirksen was able to play free and not think about her shot, she just caught and shoot with confidence.

In the final 2:45 of the third quarter, Versailles went on a 10-0 run to lead 40-21 heading into the final quarter. From there, everyone from the starters to the reserves were able to close out the game without many issues.

Since the team’s loss at Parkway on Jan. 11, they have played some of their best basketball. White said the team started to put it together during the Parkway game and have been getting better since then.

“We really have grown after that Parkway game. The wins can’t make you stop that. You got to remain humble and you gotta be able to come in and be ready to fight every single day,” White said. “Be ready to improve on your weaknesses. I think our girls have bought into that, especially in the last couple of weeks.”

White said some of improvements she wants to see are eliminating some of the careless turnovers and get the players more comfortable making plays with their non-dominate hand and use the whole floor on offense.

Dirksen was named the MVP of the game as she led the team with 19 points. Wagner finished with 14 points and Stammen with 10 points.

Versailles is now 8-5 on the season with a 3-2 MAC record. They will host Minster on Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. and then host Archbishop Alter on Jan. 20 at 7 p.m.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]

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