ADA — Byng coach Joe Neely had a pretty good game plan for his team’s meeting with Class B win machine Dover in Wednesday’s finale to the opening round of the 2005 Bertha Frank Teague Mid-America Basketball Tournament.

“We thought if we outrebounded them and kept the turnovers down, we had a chance,” Neely said. “And when (Jody) Munkres went out, I thought we were in pretty good shape.”

Byng led 9-4, when Munkres — an all-state candidate who averaged more than 18 points per game last season during the Lady Horns’ fourth state championship run in five years — turned her right ankle on a drive to the basket just over five minutes into Wednesday’s contest.

A 5-9 senior who is Dover’s only player taller than 5-7, Munkres had four points when she was injured, and, although she returned to the floor briefly at the start of the second half, she didn’t score again.

Enter junior Stacy Matthews, a 5-7 surprise who spelled the end to Neely’s best-laid plans.

Matthews came onto the floor to sink the two free throws Munkres couldn’t attempt after she was fouled on the play where she suffered her injury, and Dover’s super-sub stayed around to hit five of her seven field goal attempts — including 4-of-6 from 3-point range — and score 16 points in the Lady Longhorns’ eventual 55-44 victory.

With the win, Dover (one of only three unbeaten teams left in Class B) improved to 16-0 this season and moved into a David-versus-Goliath match-up with Class 6A No. 2 Mustang — the Mid-America’s No. 1 seed — at 6:30 p.m. today. Byng will face Marietta (which lost to Mustang Wednesday) in a 4:30 loser’s bracket contest for the right to move on to Friday’s fifth place game.

Dover coach Brad Thrash, who has directed the Lady Horns to 164 wins in 171 games and 14 victories in 15 state tournament outings in this decade, said after Wednesday’s win that Munkres is questionable for Thursday’s showdown with a 7-0 Mustang club that has seven players (including five of its first eight) who are taller than the tallest player available to him if Munkres can’t go.

“We’ll have to see how she is (Thursday),” said Thrash, who lost his other post threat, 5-8 Morgan Hoover, to a knee injury earlier this season. “This tournament is a big deal, but it’s nothing compared to the state tournament. We want to win in March, and we don’t want to risk a more serious injury now.

“Without her, I don’t know how we’ll do anything with Mustang,” he added. “We might have to suit up a couple of our boys so we can match up with them.”

With Munkres sidelined, Matthews carried the offensive load for Dover in the first half, scoring 13 points and hitting all three of her 3-point attempts. She was only 1-for-3 in the second half but still shared game scoring honors with teammate Krista Bullis, and she got a key steal and hit a 3-pointer during a pivotal 15-6 Dover run in the third quarter.

“No. 25 (Matthews) just came in there and lit us up,” Neely noted. “I had seen a lot of film of them, and she had never scored like that.”

Despite Matthews’ career night, Byng kept the game close well into the third quarter — largely because the Lady Pirates dominated the boards throughout and, after a shaky start, took care of the ball for most of the first two periods.

Byng (5-5) outrebounded Dover, 33-20, and, after turning the ball over four times before Munkres was injured, Neely’s club committed only four more turnovers the rest of the half.

Dover led just 28-26 at intermission, and Byng tied the score on a pair of Whitney Harris free throws 18 seconds into the third quarter. Then Bullis — who, like Munkres averaged over 18 points per game last season — took over.

A 5-6 junior who might be the tournament’s best ball handler, Bullis drained a 3-pointer and a 12-foot jumper (off an assist from Matthews following a steal at the other end of the floor) in the space of less than 40 seconds to put Dover up 33-28, and the Lady Horns never trailed again.

Byng got back-to-back layups from Kelsey Williamson and Harris — both off pinpoint passes from point guard Stacie Bell — in a 25-second span to trim the lead to 33-32 with 5:05 left in the quarter. But Matthews hit a 3-pointer (her final basket of the game) 20 seconds after the Harris layup, Bullis followed with a steal and hit a jumper at the other end to make it 38-32, and, after a pair of Harris free throws, Katie Turner scored seven of her team’s final nine points in a quarter that ended with Dover on top, 47-38.

The Lady Pirates, after committing just eight turnovers in the first half, had nine in the third quarter alone against Dover’s relentless press, and the Lady Longhorns converted those miscues into nine of their 19 points in the period.

Dover eventually built its lead to 14 at 55-41 on a 3-point play by Kendsy Vincent (her only points of the game) with 4:52 remaining, then, with Bullis running the show, the Lady Longhorns took the air out of the ball for the remainder of the contest.

Bullis, Matthews and Jessica Swisher ran a three-man stall that drained almost four minutes off the clock after Williamson missed a 3-pointer with 4:20 left that proved to be Byng’s final shot of the game.

Dover finally turned the ball over with 21 seconds to play, and Byng hit three late free throws.

“If we get the lead, our guards are good with the basketball,” Thrash said.

Bullis hit just seven of her 20 shots and was just 2-for-11 from beyond the arc but finished with 16 points (11 in the second half) to share game scoring honors with Matthews, and she also had four rebounds and three assists. Turner, who was 6-of-9 from the field to finish with 14 points, was the only other Dover player in double figures.

Although Harris (14 points) was Byng’s only consistent scoring threat, Britney Lee had a solid game with eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds, Williamson hit a pair of 3-pointers in the first half and also finished with eight points, and center Kara Byers — who missed several point-blank shots and finished with just three points on 1-of-6 shooting — had seven rebounds in the loss.

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