Feb. 27—The Lafayette girls basketball team defeated Excelsior Springs Saturday afternoon, 59-22, to advance in the Class 5 District 16 tournament.
The win snapped a seven-game losing streak for the Irish (9-13). Their previous win came nearly a month ago, on Jan. 29.
Saturday's matchup was the second meeting of the season between the two teams. The first was a 19-point win for Lafayette on Jan. 20.
Excelsior Springs (7-9) was coming off a two-week quarantine heading into Saturday's game. They had not played since Feb. 12.
A rusty Tigers offense ran into a tough Irish defense early. Lafayette held Excelsior Springs to nine points in the first half on three field goals.
The Lafayette offense, conversely, came out hot. The Irish scored 29 in the first half to take a 20-point lead into the break.
The second half was more of the same. The Irish more than doubled their point total from the first half, and they held the Tigers to just two points in the fourth quarter to seal the 37-point victory.
Freshman Talicia Byrd led all scorers with 12 points on the afternoon. She was followed by sophomore Jazlyn King with 10 points.
"We pushed the ball really well today," Lafayette head coach Brad Spinner said. "The first quarter was kind of a sluggish start, but after we got running a little bit, we got some easy buckets."
With the win, Lafayette advances to the Class 5 District 16 Semifinals, where they will face top-seeded Smithville (16-4).
"(Smithville) plays a little matchup 2-3 zone, and it looks like there's eight people on the floor for them," Spinner said. "They are tough, so our key to having some success is getting into the paint and making good decisions when we get there."
The Class 5 District 16 Semifinal between Lafayette and Smithville will take place Monday night at 6 p.m. in Smithville.
Jacob Lang can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on twitter: @NPNowLang.