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Montana Western's Aniese Palmore and Oklahoma City's Alexis Hill

Montana Western's Aniese Palmore (5) drives for the basket through Oklahoma City's Alexis Hill (24) on Friday during the NAIA D1 Women's Basketball Championships at Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark.

Friday's highlights

• Second-seeded Vanguard (Calif.) fought off third-seeded Montana State-Northern 71-65 in the late game Friday night to move into the quarterfinals.

Vanguard used a balanced offensive attack to subdue the Skylights, with Victoria Chea leading the way with 15 points. Tania Uluhea contributed 14 and Maya Kennedy 11.

Northern was sparked by the 21 points of Natalee Faupel. Molly Kreycik added 13 and Shiloh McCormick 11.

The Skylights trailed 51-46 heading into the fourth quarter. The lead changed hands 12 times overall.

 • No. 1-seeded Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) scored 32 points off of 24 Central Methodist (Mo.) turnovers to down the No. 5 Eagles, 89-72.

Central Methodist’s Sophie Thompson hit a basket at the seven-minute mark of the fourth quarter and that began an 11-4 Eagle run that cut the LWC lead to four, 52-48. Lindsey Wilson responded with an 8-0 run to lead 60-48. The Blue Raiders held a double-digit lead the remainder of the game.

Lindsey Wilson had three players in double figures led by Kayla Stiles with 30 points. She also had 11 rebounds for her 18th double-double season.

CMU was led by DaJonee Hale with 26 points. Lexie Moe, Hale and Jerica Nelson combined to score 56 of CMU’s 72 points.

• It came down to the last shot, as Daniela Galindo hit a 15-foot jumper as time expired to send No. 2-seeded Oklahoma City past No. 6 Montana Western, 81-79.
“When you get to this point in the tournament, you have great players playing and they make plays — that’s what you saw tonight,” said Oklahoma City coach Bo Overton.

A foul with 7.4 seconds left put Aniese Palmore at the free throw line with a chance to give Montana Western the lead. However, the first of two was missed, resulting in a tied game, 79-79.

Brooke Irwin, who created mismatch issues in the post the entire game, led Oklahoma City with a season-high 24 points. Galindo was next on the scoresheet for the Stars with 23 points, followed by Daniela Wallen with 22 points.

Palmore was the star for Western. She tallied career-highs in points with 29 and made 3-point baskets with eight. Palmore also had six rebounds — one shy of tying for the team-best — and three steals.

• No. 3-seeded Campbellsville (Ky.) broke open a tight game with a 14-4 third-quarter run on the way to a 73-56 victory over No. 2 Baker (Kan.).
“When you play twilight, that extended zone, you’re going to give up some open threes,” said Campbellsville coach Ginger Colvin. “We knew we were going to give some open looks, but we wanted to get it rushed and get them rushed. Our effort and defense was exceptional today.”

Baker, the national runner-up a year ago, is the fourth of the 2016 semifinalist to be eliminated from the tournament. Anna Hignight led the Wildcats with a career-high 18 points.

Emily Fox led Campbellsville with 19 points — 14 of which came in the first half.

• Overall No. 1 seed Freed-Hardeman (Tenn) outscored No. 5 The Master’s (Calif.), 20-7, in the second quarter on the way to a second-round 79-58 victory.

“When you make shots, it looks good,” said Freed-Hardeman coach Dale Neal. “We were able to keep them off the foul line, which we weren’t able to do against Rocky. I thought they were a difficult matchup for us, but Kim (Mallory) came out and really stepped up for us.”

Mallory led Freed-Hardeman (35-0) with 28 points and 19 rebounds — her 13th double-double of the year. The 19 rebounds ties a 2017 championship single-game high, set in the first round by The Master's Bianca Cubello. Talee Cross scored 22 points with seven assists.

Kayla Sato scored 21 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to lead Westmont (Calif.) into the quarterfinals with a 73-56 victory over Lyon (Ark.).

“I think our defense was great,” said Westmont coach Kirsten Moore. “There is a reason that the saying goes ‘defense and rebounding wins championships,’ so if we just continue to try and stay focused on that, hopefully, good things will keep happening.”

Sato's double-double was her seventh of the season. Lauren McCoy recorded her ninth double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

• No. 1-seeded Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) secured a spot in the quarterfinals with a 69-58 victory over No. 5 Bethel (Tenn.).

Frontier Conference player of the year Caelyn Orlandi proved once again why she is regarded as one of the best players in the NAIA, as the senior tallied 29 points — one shy of tying a career-high — and five rebounds. The Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho, native shot 10 of 18 from the field, 4 of 7 beyond the arc and 5 of 6 at the free throw line.

Other notable individual performances were by Brittany Tackett — 13 points and four rebounds — and Brooke Litalien — 11 points. Additionally, Megan Risinger registered a career-best 18 boards.

 Kelsey Scherder hit a 3-point basket with two seconds left to send No. 8 William Woods (Mo.) into the quarterfinals with a 64-61 upset over No. 5 John Brown (Ark.).

“I’m extremely proud of everyone that has played a part in this,” said William Woods coach Dan Chapla. “This team never quit. The just kept scraping and finally got a little momentum in the fourth quarter. I just couldn’t be more proud of a young group of women.”

Scherder led the Owls with 19 points.

Top scorers

30: Kayla Styles, Lindsey Wilson

29: Caelyn Orlandi, Lewis-Clark State

29: Aniese Palmore, Montana Western

28: Kim Mallory, Freed-Hardeman

26: DaJonee Hale, Central Methodist

24: Brooke Irwin, Oklahoma City

23: Daniela Galindo, Oklahoma City

22: Daniela Wallen, Oklahoma City

22: Taleeah Cross, Freed-Hardeman

21: Natalee Faupel, MSU-Northern

21: Kayla Sato, Westmont

21: Baily Cameron, John Brown

20: Taylor Howlett, Montana Western


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Billings Mustangs, High School Sports Reporter

Sports writer for The Billings Gazette, covering high school sports and the Billings Mustangs.