INDEPENDENCE, Kan. - Riding a hot streak, the Independence Lady Pirates looked to add another accolade to their resume hosting the #18 Butler Grizzlies in round two of the season. It was a very physical and defensive contest, but the Lady Pirates proved to have enough in the upset victory, 61-57.
"Tonight's win was huge, and we'll enjoy it until tomorrow, but a big thing tonight was our 17 points off the bench to their nine," coach Leslie Crane said. "Everything else was pretty even and I don't like that we got out rebounded, but the big stat was forcing them into 22 turnovers while we only had thirteen to make a difference in the game. We just did more with our possessions than them and that's a good thing to have."
"We got a little tired in the third quarter, but we came out in the fourth quarter with 71 percent from the free throw line and once we got ahead, we did the things that we needed to do to stay ahead with good time management in a rough, physical game and I'm proud of our kids tonight for playing hard to the finish."
"With Coffeyville on Wednesday, they'll be ready with it being the rivalry game and we have to go in there with all that we can, because it's a tough place to play. We just go one game at a time so that game is our only focus right now."
In the first quarter, a bucket by Criste'On Waters put Butler on the board first and a score by Lauren Snipes pushed the lead to four before a three-pointer by Snipes, but Independence got on the board with two free throws from Fatarah Kinnard. Another bucket from Waters pushed the lead back to seven, but baskets by Jessica Goodluck and Brittany Reeves with a free throw to follow made the score 9-7 at the 2:15 mark.
Waters continued to score with a layup making it a four-point advantage for the Grizzlies before a three from Macie Price cut the lead to one and the Lady Pirates would take a one-point lead after two shots from the line by Logan Collyer. A trip to the line for Kierra Crockett resulted in one free throw and Independence led 13-11 after the first period.
The second quarter began with a bucket for Awreona Ransom to tie the game before a foul sent Kyla Callins to the line to make two free throws and a layup by Camille Downs had Butler leading by four. A jumper from Jalise Smallwood pushed the Grizzlies' lead to six before a three by Collyer and a bucket from Mychaell Gray cut the lead to one and a bucket from Victoria Mikkelsen made the score 20-19 Independence with 4:15 left in the first half.
Free throws by Smallwood regained the lead for Butler before a three for Goodluck, but a three for Callins gave Butler a two-point lead. The Lady Pirates led again after another three from Goodluck before two free throws for Callins, but a bucket by Price and a three from Mikkelsen had Independence leading 31-26 at the break.
In the third quarter, a put back for Waters cut the lead to three before a three from Goodluck, but technical shots by Smallwood cut the lead to four. Free throws for Downs cut the lead to two before a basket from Reeves, but free throws from Snipes made it 36-34 Lady Pirates at the 4:20 mark.
A bucket from Smallwood tied the game before a pair of free throws by Crockett and one from Goodluck, but foul shots by Smallwood brought the Grizzlies within one. A bucket by Snipes gave Butler a one-point advantage and the Grizzlies led 40-39 heading into the game's final minutes.
The fourth quarter began with a pair of free throws from Smallwood before a free throw from Gray and a floater from Crockett tied the game followed by a jumper from Gray for the lead. Gray continued to be on fire with a three for a five-point advantage before a three by Taylor Birch and bucket by Smallwood tied it up again. A free throw from Downs gave Butler the lead, but a foul shot by Reeves made the score 48-48 with 2:51 remaining.
Butler took a one-point advantage on a free throw from Callins before a jumper and layup by Reeves, but a free throw for Snipes cut the Independence lead down to two. A pair of free throws for Gray pushed the Lady Pirates' lead to four and one from Crockett gave Independence a five-point lead.
The Lady Pirates got two free throws from Collyer before a three from Snipes cut the lead to four followed by a pair of free throws for the Butler sophomore, but two shots from the line for Gray made it four-point advantage for the Lady Pirates before a bucket from Callins. Free throws for Crockett pushed the lead to four and Independence held on to win for the sixth-straight time.
Independence (14-9, 9-7) hits the road Wednesday February 13 traveling to face Montgomery County rival, the Coffeyville Red Ravens with tipoff set for 5:30 pm.