EL DORADO, Kan. - As a three-game road trip came to an end, the Independence Lady Pirates looked to continue their good fortune against the #20 Butler Grizzlies. The Lady Pirates trailed early by as many as eleven points and gave a great effort in coming back but came up just short falling 65-62.
The second quarter began with a basket from Brittany Reeves to cut the lead to seven, but a three from Taylor Birch made the score 23-13 just before a layup by Crockett. A jumper by Kyla Callins pushed the lead to twelve, but Crockett answered to make it 25-15 with 6:00 remaining in the first half.
A 5-1 Butler run controlled by Camille downs pushed the lead to fourteen and a 7-4 run had Independence trailing 34-23 just before a jumper from Victoria Mikkelsen. Free throws from Reeves cut the lead down to seven, but a three by Jalise Smallwood torched the net for the Grizzlies and the Lady Pirates trailed 37-27 going into halftime.
In the third quarter, Butler found Smallwood downcourt for a bucket and a free throw to go, but Independence's Reeves matched it to keep the lead at ten. Smallwood torched the net again from three-point range, but once again the Lady Pirates matched it this time with a long shot from Jessica Goodluck at the 7:53 mark.
A bucket from Callins gave Butler a 12-pooint lead and a breakaway layup by Awreona Ransom pushed it to fourteen before a three-pointer by Price. A three-pointer from Fatarah Kinnard made the score 47-39 and free throws by Mikkelsen cut the lead to six just before Price made a long three-point shot to make the score 47-44 at the 3:15 mark. A 5-0 run led by Smallwood and Deztinee Gooden pushed the Butler lead out to eight and a 3-0 run after a quick layup from Ransom made the score 55-44 for the remainder of the period.
The fourth quarter began with a basket from Reeves cutting the lead to nine and another for the freshman making the score 55-48. The Lady Pirates continued to chip into the lead with a quick layup by Mychaell Gray, but a bank shot from Criste'On Waters made it 57-50 with 6:33 remaining.
A three-pointer from Gray had Independence within four, but a jumper from Downs pushed the lead to six before a free throw by Crockett. A three-pointer from Goodluck brought Independence within two and a huge shot from Gray gave the Lady Pirates their first lead at 60-59 with 3:00 remaining.
A floater by Smallwood put Butler back in the lead, but a bucket from Crockett gave Independence the 62-61 advantage with 39 seconds remaining. A bucket from Waters regained the lead for Butler and a free throw from Callins pushed the lead to two. The Grizzlies made one more free throw, but there was no answer this time as the Lady Pirates dropped the hard-fought battle in heartbreaking fashion.
Independence (8-9, 3-7) returns home January 23 hosting rival, the Coffeyville Red Ravens with tipoff set for 6 pm.