The Rose Bud Lady Ramblers are returning home to Rambler Arena with the top seed in the 3A Region 2 Tournament after defeating Bismarck 61-36 in the finals of the 3A-5 District Tournament Friday night at Episcopal Collegiate School in Little Rock.

The two finalists exchanged baskets all throughout the opening quarter, with Bismarck heading to the huddle with a 19-16 lead after Cecilia Howell, Hannah Weatherford, and Bri Sampson all scorched the net for three-pointers. Rose Bud’s Savannah Lacy and Gracie Hartle fired in three pointers of their own to keep it close.

The second quarter brought a 13-5 five run for the Lady Ramblers, as Jenna Hipp rained down two straight triples while cashing in two free throws before Kaitlyn Smith added a three to take a 29-24 advantage heading to intermission.

Gracie and Hope Hartle would combine for eight of Rose Bud’s first ten second half points, as Smith would drain another triple to go with a free throw and Maria Barrios would score from in close off a dump down pass from Hipp, stretching the top-seeded teams lead to 45-30 after three quarters. The offense continued to shine in the final session of play, as Hipp scored on a drive to the rim and Smith drilled two threes to put the game out of reach.

Smith led the Lady Ramblers (19-9) with 14, with Hipp following right behind with 12 and Hope Hartle totaling 11.

“Last night we won an ugly one, and tonight I thought we came out and played as hard as we have all year,” said Rose Bud head coach Bradley Moss. “If we play that hard every night, I would be a really happy coach. The effort was there and we executed the game plan well. Even on nights when you are not shooting well, if you play hard good things can still happen.”

 Rose Bud will play host to Tuckerman in the first round of the 3A Region 2 Tournament today at 4:00 in Rambler Arena. “You always love it for your seniors because Senior Night comes and it’s sad, but in the back of your mind you know if you play well in the [district] tournament, you would be coming back to play at home. It’s always good for them to come back and end their careers at home with a victory.”