Big Fourth Quarter Carries Centralia Girls to First Final Four Trip

The Centralia Lady Panthers finished on a 12-0 run to defeat the South Shelby Ladybirds 51-39 and advance to the Class 3 Show-Me Showdown for the first time in program history. The two Clarence Cannon Conference rivals went back and forth for the majority of the quarterfinal contest. Callie McWilliams tied the game at 39-39 just past the halfway mark of the fourth quarter. After Braylin Brunkhorst restored the Centralia lead, Morgan Ross provided some extra breathing room.

Colin Schowe with the call on KTCM 97.3 and Ross finished with a team-high 14 points and passed 1,000 points for her career. The Lady Panthers went 6-8 from the free throw line in the fourth to close the game out. Coach Megan Brinkmann said Ross stepped up in a big moment.

Brunkhorst followed Ross with 13 points while Ryenn Gordon added 10. The Lady Panthers trailed for much of the first half before scoring the final eight points of the second quarter to lead 22-19 at the break. They also had to answer a 9-0 run at the end of the third quarter from the Ladybirds. Brinkmann discussed the keys to stopping South’s momentum.

South Shelby was without Belle Roush and Jayda Lanpher due to injury. As a result, the Ladybirds played the majority of the game with the same five players. Coach Luke O’Laughlin said he was proud of his team’s effort.

Charlie Roush and Kamryn Mitchell scored 14 points each to lead the Ladybirds. They conclude the season at 23-7, falling in the quarterfinals for the second straight year. O’Laughlin hopes this will inspire next year’s team.

Mitchell and Kaelyn Maddex are the Ladybirds’ lone seniors from this year’s team. Meanwhile, Centralia improves to 25-4 and will face top-ranked El Dorado Springs in the Class 3 Semifinals Friday at 4 at Mizzou Arena.


Centralia coach Megan Brinkmann

South Shelby coach Luke O’Laughlin