The Southwest Lady Trojans relied on 18-point performances from Nicole Ickes and Michaela Mitchell to run away from Verona 61-33 on Tuesday night at Washburn. Southwest's trapping pressure defense limited Verona's All-State guard Tristan Carrasquillo to just 6 points and held the Lady Wildcats to just 13 total points in the second half.
"Our goal was to contain Carasquillo and force the other girls to beat us," said Southwest's Steve Rissler.
Verona enjoyed leads of 2-0 and 4-2 before Southwest pulled away to lead 14-9 at the end of the first quarter. Mitchell scored 14 of her 18 points in the first half, and Ickes swished a long trey as the half ended to give the Lady Trojans a 33-20 lead.
The lead reached 20 as the third quarter ended, with Ickes hitting a long jumper, and the Lady Wildcats could not get within 20 points in the final period. It was déjà vu all over again for Verona, which lost to Southwest in the Lady Cavalier Classic back in December, 67-28.
Southwest benefited from another double-double from Taylor Mettlach. The junior center for the Lady Trojans scored 12 while snaring 11 rebounds, seven of them on the offensive end. While the flashy guard duo of Ickes and Mitchell garner a lot attention, Mettlach is the quiet scoring leader for Southwest with 150 points so far this season.
"Everyone contributed to this win," said Rissler. "The girls are accepting their roles and working to improve their game in practice for the benefit of the team."
Verona slipped to 6-4 overall and 1-1 in the Ozark 7 race. Southwest improved to 9-4 and 3-1 in conference play while extending their win streak to three games.
Ozark 7 Conference standings (as of Jan. 11):
1. Purdy 4-0
2. Southwest 3-1
3. Verona 1-1
4. Exeter 2-2
5. McAuley 0-3
6. Wheaton 0-3
Southwest scorers: Nicole Ickes, 18; Michaela Mitchell, 18; Taylor Mettlach, 12; Shannon Mitchell, 7; Jessica Morgan, 4; and Cady Swindle, 2.
Verona scorers: Amanda Mullen, 7; Tristan Carrasquillo, 6; Taylor Pinkly, 4; Jessica Youngberg, 4; Shelby Barsotti, 4; Tesssa Bilyeu, 3; and Whitney Shue, 3.