CHANUTE, Kan. - Coming off a huge win Saturday, the Independence Lady Pirates aimed to keep the momentum going against the Neosho County Panthers. The Lady Pirates delivered firing on all cylinders for another huge win by a score of 77-54.
The Lady Pirates were also led by Victoria Mikkelsen who hit double figures on the boards with 11 rebounds.
"We did this tonight as a full team and I thought that our bench did terrific," coach Leslie Crane said. "We did a great job of handling the press and slowing it down and running our type of offense making them play how we wanted defensively."
"We clawed our way back to tie the game at the half and in the second half it was our game it was our game and we did a much better job at controlling how things were going to run."
In the first quarter, the teams played very tight each scoring nine points at the 4:45 mark. Several turnovers by each team kept the score the same, but a foul sent Mychaell Gray to the line where she would make both shots for an 11-9 Independence lead.
A three-pointer from Jessica Goodluck pushed the Lady Pirates' lead to five and free throws from Logan Collyer made the score 16-9 at the 2:22 mark. Independence increased their lead with a layup from Goodluck at 18-9 and a free throw by Destiny Stewart cut the lead to eight.
Another foul sent Kelsey Hinz to the line for one successful shot and a free throw by Ashley Dillinger made the score 18-12 at the 27 second mark, but one shot from the line by Victoria Mikkelsen pushed the lead to seven. Neosho delivered three free throws in the final seconds of the quarter cutting Independence's lead to 19-15 after the period.
The second quarter began with Calea Augustin delivering a layup cutting the lead to two, before a foul sent Sadie Jordan to the line to make one shot. A layup from Alexis Casher cut the Independence lead to one but a three-pointer from Augustin gave Neosho a 22-20 advantage with 8:15 remaining before halftime.
The Lady Pirates responded with shots from Collyer and Jordan to regain the lead, but the Panthers quickly made the tying shot with 7:20 left in the half. A floater from Hinz gave Neosho a two-point lead and a layup by Imani Jones pushed it to four, but a layup by Jordan had the score at 28-26 with 3:30 left in the first half.
A layup from Kierra Crockett tied the game at 28-28, but it wasn't long before the Panthers retook the lead on a free throw from Casher. A three-pointer from Hinz pushed the Panthers' lead to four, but free throws by Gray brought Independence back within two before a layup by Mikkelsen that had the score tied at 32-32 going into the break.
In the third quarter, a steal and score by Crockett gave Independence the lead, but a response from Hinz tied it at 34-34. The Lady Pirates retook the lead on a put back from Brittany Reeves, but a three-point play from Casher had the Panthers leading by one at the 8:45 mark.
Free throws from Jordan gave the Lady Pirates a 38-37 advantage, but a layup from Haley Stiger gave Neosho the lead just before an inside jumper by Gray who made a three to push the score to 43-39 at the 5:33 mark.
A layup by Collyer pushed the lead to six and another three from Gray had the Lady Pirates leading with the score 48-39 at the 3:46 mark. Free throws from Jessica Jones cut the lead down to seven, but a floater from Mikkelsen and free throws by Crockett made it 52-41 at the 1:25 mark.
Another score from Crockett with a free throw to follow pushed the lead to 14 points and shots from the line by Goodluck had the score at 57-41 before a steal turned into a score for Crockett. Neosho converted two free throws from Chrissy Brown and Independence led 59-43 heading into the contest's final minutes.
The fourth quarter began with a three-pointer from Stewart and a layup by Jones to cut the lead down to 11 points, but a layup from Jordan pushed the score to 61-58. Another score from Jordan pushed the Independence lead to fifteen and a free throw from Gray made it 64-48 Lady Pirates with 7:21 remaining.
Shots from the line by Mikkelsen pushed the Independence lead to eighteen and Neosho got a free throw, but a three from Macie Price made the score 69-49 before a shot from Brown. A put back from Reeves put the lead back at 20 points and a layup from Mikkelsen made it 73-51 with 2:15 remaining. Independence outscored the Panthers 4-3 in the final seconds and capped off another huge victory.
Independence (8-8, 3-6) takes to the road again Saturday January 19 to face the Butler Grizzlies with tipoff set for 1 pm.