CONCORDIA, Kan. - With the final weekend of the month having arrived, the Independence Lady Pirates hit the road to take on the Cloud County Thunderbirds. The matchup was very intense and down to the wire, but the Lady Pirates pulled out the victory, 59-52.
"I thought we did a great job for the most part tonight," coach Leslie Crane said. "We forced them into 17 turnovers and shutdown their top players and kept them off the three-point line. It all comes down to rebounding and second chance shots and all of our bigs did great so if we can do for the coming games like we did tonight, I definitely like our chances."
In the first quarter, after a 9-8 start for Independence a layup by Sadie Jordan made the score 11-8 for the Lady Pirates, but a shot from Cassidy Haufler cut the lead to one, A basket from Victoria Mikkelsen pushed the lead to three and another basket from the sophomore made the score 15-10 at the 1:47 mark. The T-birds drew a little closer with a trip to the line for Haufler resulting in two free throws to make it a 15-12 throughout the period.
The second quarter began with a trip to the line for Brittany Reeves to push the lead to four, but Cloud quickly cut it to a two-point lead with another basket by Haufler. A basket by Reeves pushed the llead back to four, but a layup by Scout frame made it the score 18-16 with 5:41 remaining in the half.
Cloud tied the game at 18-18 after a jumper from Destiny Pittman, but the Pirates answered shortly after with a layup from Jordan. A trip to the line for Mikaela Meyers had the game deadlocked at 20-20, but Jordan made one shot for the lead before a bank shot by Haufler made the score 22-21 T-Birds for the remainder of the half.
In the third quarter, Reeves regained the lead for Independence with two free throws and a trip to the line for Kierra Crockett made the lead three before a three-pointer from Chase Siedlik tied it at 25-25. Cloud retook the lead after a three-point play for Frame and a three-pointer by Emmiley Hendrixson pushed the lead to six before a bucket from Jordan at the 4:13 mark.
One shot from the line for Crockett cut the lead to three before two free throws from Mkkelsen and the Lady Pirates took a one-point advantage off of two shots by Fatarah Kinnard. A basket by Reeves pushed the Independence lead to three and a bank shot by the freshman pushed it to five before a inside shot by Hendrixson made it 36-33 Lady Pirates heading into the final minutes.
The fourth quarter began with a basket from Reeves, but a three by Hendrixson kept Cloud in it as the lead was down to two before a jumper from Reeves. A three by Kamryn Collins cut the lead down to one before free throws by Mikkelsen, but a shot from the line for Haufler had the score at 42-40 with 7:45 remaining.
Back to back buckets for Reeves pushed the lead to six and a layup had the Lady Pirates their largest lead at eight before a layup by Collins. One free throw for Mychael Gray had Independence in the lead by seven, but Haufler reduced it to five with two of her own with 5:33 remaining.
A layup by Mikkelsen put the lead back to seven before a basket by Siedlik and two free throws by Frame. A trip to the line for Collins resulted in two free throws to cut the lead to one, but a three by Logan Collyer pushed the lead to 54-50 Lady Pirates with 1:00 remaining.
Free throws from Gray gave Independence a six-point advantage before two shots from Frame, but a trip to the line for Reeves had it back at six. Crockett extended the lead to seven with one shot from the line and the Lady Pirates hung on to win.
Independence (10-9, 5-7) is back in action Wednesday January 30 traveling to Iola to take on the Allen County Red Devils with tipoff set for 6 pm.