the bistro off broadway
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Jaden Mauk (42) and Kamryn Kimmel (22) stops Versailles junior Camille Watern as
she drives the lane Saturday against Marion Pleasant. The Tigers were eliminated in the
Regional final game by the Spartans, 48-35. CNO Photos by Dylan Knoop
 
Season ends for Versailles in Regional final loss
By Dylan Knoop

SPRINGFIELD- A win Saturday would have meant going to Columbus for the third straight year.

That goal was short-circuited Saturday as Marion Pleasant stopped the Versailles Lady Tigers in their tracks, dropping a 48-35 loss on Versailles.

Holding leads of 14-9 and 19-18 at the half, it was a second half Spartan defense that turned on the Tigers.

Nine second half turnovers, six in the fourth quarter, held Versailles to a meager 16 points.  

“We were playing well,” said Versailles coach Jackie Stonebreaker. “They (MP) never knew what hit them. We kind of hit them in the mouth at the start of the game and when they came back, we couldn’t recover.”

Starting the game on a 14-5 run and an 8-0 spurt at one point, the Tigers got off to a fast start.

With the Spartans scoring the last four points of the first quarter, the Pleasant comeback had already started.

With Lauren Monnin scoring eight of the 14 first quarter points for Versailles, the Marion Pleasant defense shifted and 6 foot junior Summer Blevins was put on the 5-8 Tiger senior.

“We had a feeling they would put Blevins on Monnin because she’s our next tallest girl,” said Stonebraker. “But I knew that Lauren was smarter, quicker, could get to the hole on her and even back-screen her a little bit, and that’s what we did. We got her open. And once they put a different defender on her, Lauren couldn’t take it as easily to the hole. We struggled on the boards tonight. We got killed on the boards offensively and defensively. We couldn’t make a shot; that hurt. And they were hitting a lot of shots against us. It was their night. It was their day. Kudos to them.”

After the switches had been made on the Pleasant defense, everything changed for the Tigers and the offensive look was no longer what Tiger fans were used to seeing.

“At that point, I just didn’t feel like we were on the same page,” said Stonebreaker “Our whole court was off balance.”

Trailing by a point at half-time, the Spartans kept the momentum going in the third.

With most games being decided in the first three or four minutes of the second half, the Tigers fate was slowly being sealed during that time.

Marion Pleasant started the third on a 9-2 run, building a 27-21 lead.

A lead the Spartans would never lose.

Being held to just eight points in the third, the Pleasant defense would allow only eight more points in the fourth while building a 41-27 lead at one point.

“We couldn’t get anything rolling either offensively,” said the Versailles coach. “They shot well, but offensively for us we could not. We were standing around expecting things to happen, and it wasn’t happening. Everything was clicking for them, and it wasn’t for us.”

The Tigers season ends with a 21-7 record but the season didn’t end without words of praise from Stonebreaker.

“I’m so proud of them,” Stonebraker said. “I’m so proud of how they clicked together. Starting 4-4 and being 0-3 in the (Midwest Athletic Conference), being at the bottom of the MAC, was disheartening. It was a reality check, and they kept fighting.”

Photo set available at Empowering Darke County Youth

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It was a sad group of Lady Tigers after the final buzzer had sounded Saturday at
Springfield High School, ending the season for Versailles.
 
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Versailles Lady Tigers-2016 Regional runners-up
 

 
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