INDEPENDENCE, Kan. - After a rough start to conference play, the Independence Lady Pirates returned home to ICC Field House looking for their first conference win against the Northwest Tech Mavericks. The goal was accomplished as the game was all Independence all night and the Lady Pirates dominated by a huge margin, claiming victory 87-39.
The Lady Pirates had three players in double figures with Brittany Reeves scoring 21 points, Victoria Mikkelsen with 19 points and 11 points from Sadie Jordan. Reeves also recorded a double-double with 12 rebounds.
"We stayed disciplined and played our game while shutting down their best players," coach Leslie Crane said. "I thought Brittany and Victoria did very well offensively and defensively along with several blocks from Kierra and Fatarah, but most of all we just ran the floor better."
In the first quarter, a bucket by Ania Markowska gave the Lady Pirates the early lead, but a quick layup for the Mavericks tied the game at 2-2. Free throws by Brittany Reeves were followed up with a put back and a layup by the freshman to make the score 8-2 for Independence, but a three-pointer by Tajh Gillard cut it to 8-5.
Buckets by Reeves and Victoria Mikkelsen made it 13-5 and a long shot by Jybre Johnson made it a five-point game, but a bucket by Reeves followed by a foul shot from Mikkelsen had the score at 16-8 at the 4:45 mark.
A bucket by Sadie Jordan along with a free throw pushed the lead to 11 points, but Northwest Tech responded with a run of 7-0 cutting the Lady Pirates' lead to 19-15. A hard foul sent Mychaell Gray to the line where she added two free throws and a layup by Mikkelsen followed by free throws from Kierra Crockett had Independence leading by 10 points heading to the final minutes of the half.
The second quarter began with several misses before a bucket was made, but a three-pointer by Markowska followed up by an inside jumper from Reeves made the score 30-15. Reeves continued to grab rebounds and found another bucket for a 17-point lead and another bucket by Markowska pushed the score to 34-15 before a bucket by Johnson on the other end.
A three-point play by Crockett had the Lady Pirates up by 20 points and free throws by Crockett followed by a long range shot from Jessica Goodluck made the score 42-17 with 3:39 left in the first half. The Mavericks got two free throws from Taylor Watkins, but Independence wasn't worried as a three-pointer by Gray had them up by 26 points and an 8-0 run led by seven points from Mikkelsen made the score 54-19 for the Lady Pirates at the break.
In the third quarter, the Lady Pirates set off the scoring with a three-pointer by Markowska followed by a layup from Mikkelsen for a 40-point lead and another layup by Mikkelsen made the score 61-19 at the 6:15 mark. An inside shot from Reeves pushed the lead to 44 points just before a layup from Johnson, but the Lady Pirates closed out the period on an 11-6 run and led by 49 points going into the final minutes.
The fourth quarter began with Gillard torching the net for the Mavericks followed by a layup by Kiara Tharpe, but buckets from Reeves and Fatarah Kinnard had Independence leading by 48 points with 6:37 left to play. Free throws by Kinnard were answered by a 5-0 run for Gillard, but a layup from Jordan made the score 82-35 with 5:00 remaining. Independence closed out the game with a 5-4 run capped by a bucket at the buzzer by Zaiyah Frazier to walk off the court in both victory and dominance.
Independence (6-4, 1-2) is back in action Saturday December 8 traveling to Great Bend to take on the Barton Cougars with tip-off set for 5:30 pm.