INDEPENDENCE, Kan. - After enjoying three consecutive wins, the Independence Lady Pirates returned home to host the Cowley County Tigers. The game was back and forth down the stretch and even took an extra five minutes, but the Lady Pirates prevailed in the contest to push their win streak to four games, 83-77.
The Lady Pirates had three players in double figures led by Fatarah Kinnard with 21 points, Mychaell Gray with 20 points and Sadie Jordan with 10 points. Gray also recorded a double-double with 11 rebounds.
"I really feel that we had a lot of good state tonight," coach Leslie Crane said. "We outscored them 46-22 with points in the paint, 19-9 with points off turnovers and 40-12 with points off the bench. We outrebounded them and shot 77 percent from the free throw line and 44 percent from the three-point line to give us a great performance."
"We are maturing and learning from the close games that we lost so that we can do something different down the stretch and be the ones in charge of our postseason destiny. I think that we were tired of being on the road so much, but it has made us tougher mentally and physically to get after it and win games in front of our home crowd."
In the first quarter, a jumper by Brenda Silva put the Tigers on the board and a three from Kedranea Addison pushed the lead to five before a free throw from Logan Collyer. A layup by Victoria Mikkelsen cut the lead to two, but a three-pointer by Paige Granstaff made the score 8-3 at the 4:20 mark.
A three by Sarsha Follachio pushed the lead out to eight before a basket by Mychaell Gray and free throws from Sadie Jordan had Independence within four. A shot from the line from Julia Nygard put the lead to five before a layup by Macie Price made it 12-9 Tigers after the first period.
The second quarter began with a basket by Kierra Crocket to bring the Lady Pirates within one and a three from Fatarah Kinnard gave Independence the lead at 14-12. A layup by Brittany Reeves pushed the lead to four and a steal and score by Kinnard made it 18-12 with 7:15 left in the half.
A three by Granstaff cut the lead to three before a basket from Mikkelsen, but a layup from Granstaff cut it back to three. A bucket from Emily Hrencher cut the lead to one before a basket from Goodluck and Jordan on back to back occasions and a layup by Gray made the score 28-19 with 1:20 left in the half.
A basket by Kinnard pushed the lead to eleven before two technical foul shots from Gray, but a score for Follachio cut it back to eleven. Scores by Jordan and Kadie Smith kept the scoring going for the remainder of the half and the score was 34-23 heading to the break.
In the third quarter, a floater by Crockett got the Lady Pirates going, but the Tigers answered with a score from Granstaff before a three from Collyer. Another bucket from Kinnard pushed the Lady Pirates' lead to sixteen before a pair of free throws by Silva, but a shot from Gray followed by a layup from Addison made it 43-29 at the 4:57 mark.
A bucket from Reeves pushed the lead back to sixteen before a three-pointer by Nygard, but the shooting from Gray continued to be on the money extending the lead once again. Free throws by Addison made it closer before a trip to the line by Jordan who converted both shots, but a score from Silva made it 49-36 Independence at the 2:25 mark.
A three from Granstaff brought the Tigers within ten points before a basket from Mikkelsen, but a three-point play by Silva cut the lead to nine. A trip to the line for Granstaff resulted in two free throws along with two from Smith cutting the lead to five to make the score 51-46 heading into the final minutes.
The fourth quarter began with a basket by Goodluck pushing the lead to seven before a score from Silva followed by a technical shot from Granstaff and two more free throws by Silva cutting the lead down to one. A layup from Crockett pushed the lead back to three before a score by Reeves, but a basket by Silva on back to back possessions made the score 57-56 with 5:45 remaining in regulation.
Cowley regained the lead with a layup by Addison and a three by Granstaff, but Gray kept Independence within two before the tying shot from Gray. Another score for Addison put the Tigers up by two before a basket from Jordan, but free throws for Silva made it a 65-63 Cowley lead with 3:15 remaining in regulation.
Free throws from Kinnard tied the game before two shots from Silva were made, but a three for Kinnard regained the lead for the Lady Pirates by one before two more shots by Silva. One free throw by Follachio and a layup from Kinnard tied the game again, but Silva answered with two free throws giving the Tigers a 72-70 lead with 38 seconds remaining in regulation. A trip to the line for Gray tied the game with two shots going through until the game headed to overtime.
In overtime, the Lady Pirates reclaimed the lead after a three from Kinnard, but a trip to the line for Nygard cut it to one before two free throws from Gray. A layup from Reeves pushed the lead to five before a three from Nygard but two shot from the line for Kinnard along with two more from Gray was enough to give Independence the win.
Independence (12-9, 7-7) returns to ICC Field House Wednesday February 6 to take on the Neosho County Panthers with tipoff set for 6 pm.