BELLEVILLE — The Belleville East Lancers are four months away from opening the 2013-14 basketball season.
Lancers senior Montira Mosby is ready for the season to begin now.
Competing in the title game of the Southwestern Illinois College Varsity Girls Tournament, Mosby put her team on her back and carried it to a 36-29 win over St. Louis Notre Dame on Sunday at the Belleville Family Sportsplex.
A 5-foot, 10-inch forward, Mosby sparked a sluggish Lancers' offense, scoring 18 of her 23 points in the second half to lead her team to a come-from-behind win.
Notre Dame, getting a combined 12 points from Taylor Gasperoni and Madeline Ronshausen, led 17-3 with just three minutes left in the first half.
The Lancers didn't score their first field goal until Chamecia Liddell hit a 3-point field goal with 2:36 left. But a pair of late baskets by Erin Holl helped East close to within 20-13 at halftime.
While not pleased with the lack of offensive production, Lancers coach Andrea Seipp liked the mental toughness her squad showed.
"Considering we didn't score a field goal for the first 17 minutes, I was pleased that the girls didn't put their heads down. We kept playing hard," Seipp said. "Then we were able to use our defense to help get some offense going.
"To me, summer basketball is about having fun and coming together as a team. This group of kids is fun to be around on and off the court. We're not the biggest team and some days we don't shoot it very well. But as long as we stay together and keep battling, I think we'll be fine."
The Lancers also will be fine as long as Mosby stays healthy and plays well. Mosby scored eight quick points while Liddell and Brynesha Mosby both scored as East continued to close the gap.
A conventional three-point play from Mosby with 10:40 left gave East its first lead at 29-26.
Ronshausen tied the game at 29 with a 3, but when Mosby scored on an offensive putback and a second three-point play 30 seconds apart, East had the lead for good at 34-29.
Notre Dame did not score a point during the final eight minutes of the game.
And it was Mosby who led the way for the Lancers.
"Montira has played a ton of basketball and you can tell. She has taken her game to a higher level," Seipp said. "She's the type player who is strong inside. But she can also step out and hit the perimeter jumper. She can shoot the basketball."