GREAT BEND, Kan. – Riding the highs of a dominant performance, the Independence Lady Pirates took to the road against the Barton Cougars looking to continue the trend. The game was back and forth all night, but miscommunications and turnovers late in the game cost the Lady Pirates as the Cougars battled back and hit what would be the game-winning three-point shot with two seconds left on the clock. The Lady Pirates were led in scoring by Brittany Reeves with 12 points.
In the first quarter, shots were off for both teams in the first couple of minutes, but Independence broke on to the board with a three-pointer from Ania Markowska to take the early lead. Barton scored with inside shots from Irene Chukwudi to take the lead at 4-3 and extended the lead to 5-3 at the 5:0000 mark after a free throw from Jaylin Stapleton.
The lady Pirates tied the game at 5-5 after a layup from Kierra Crockett, but a free throw from Ryen White gave the Cougars the lead just before a shot from downtown by Mychaell Gray. A bucket from Victoria Mikkelsen made the score 9-6 and an inside shot from Cayla Trotter extended the lead to five at the 1:52 mark.
A shooting foul sent Stapleton to the line, where she would make one shot to cut the lead down to four and then three after a free throw from Kolby Davis making the score 11-8 for Independence going into the final minutes of the first half.
The second quarter began with a layup from Mikkelsen to push the lead to five, but Chukwudi found the basket again just before Trotter torched the net again for a 16-10 lead with 8:45 remaining in the half. A hard foul after a steal sent Fatarah Kinnard to the line to make one shot, but after two shots from Brittany Reeves Independence was in command at 19-10.
A three-pointer by Conner Keith cut the Lady Pirates' lead down to six and it was quickly down to four as Keith split through the middle for a layup. After one free throw a basket by Mallory Miller had the score at 20-17 just before a quick shot by Chukwudi cut the lead down to one with 2:40 remaining in the half. A put back from Sadie Jordan made the score 22-19 and a shot just before the buzzer by Markowska made it 24-19 Independence at the half.
In the third quarter, a shot by Reeves pushed the lead to seven, but White made a quick three-pointer to keep Barton within four and a foul sent Stapleton to the line to make both shots as the score was now 26-24 at the 8:30 mark.
A quick layup by White tied the game at 26-26, but Independence got a free throw from Reeves followed by a layup from Trotter for a 29-26 lead at the 5:30 mark. A three-pointer by Miller quickly tied the game, but a 5-0 run coming from Crockett gave the Lady Pirates the lead at 34-29.
D'Shonda Hunt and Taylor Regan cut the lead down to one after four free throws and one more foul sent Regan to make two more for a 35-34 Barton lead going into the final minutes of play.
The fourth quarter began with a layup by Davis to push the lead to three, but a foul on the other end sent Kinnard to the line for one, but a three-pointer by Richelle Turney pushed the score to 39-35 with 8:15 remaining.
An inside shot by Chukwudi pushed the Barton lead to six, but a floater by Kinnard had the score sitting at 41-37 and a long shot by Logan Collyer had the Lady Pirates within one just before Keith matched it seconds later.
A three-point play by Reeves cut the score to 44-43 with 5:06 remaining, but Regan quickly answered with a bucket and free throw of her own. Free throws from Hunt pushed the lead back to six at 49-43, but Independence found two shots from the line by Kinnard followed by a hook shot from Reeves to cut the score to 49-47 with 2:16 remaining.
Regan pushed the lead back to three making one shot at the line and with one free throw from Miller the Cougars held a 51-47 advantage, but Reeves again found the inside basket cutting the lead back down to two just before a bucket from Kinnard tied it at 51-51. A three-pointer by Keith gave Barton the lead with two seconds remaining and it was enough as the Lady Pirates dropped the contest.
Independence (6-5, 1-3) returns home Wednesday December 12 taking on the Pratt Beavers with tip-off set for 6 pm.