INDEPENDENCE, Kan. - With the end of the regular season soon approaching, the Independence Lady Pirates hosted the Cloud County Thunderbirds for the second matchup this season. The Lady Pirates continued to roll as they have lately coming out victorious, 70-55.
The Lady Pirates had four players in double figures led by Mychaell Gray with 19 points, Kierra Crockett with 11 points and 10 points each for Victoria Mikkelsen and Logan Collyer, while getting eight points and 10 rebounds from Brittany Reeves.
"It was frustrating as we made mistakes we don't normally, but that's basically from us being tired from playing three games in the last six days," coach Leslie Crane said. "We wanted to keep their key players down as I thought we did to stay in the game defensively forcing turnovers and out rebounding them with a great performance from our bench."
"The next game is sophomore night and our 'Think Pink game' to raise breast cancer awareness so it'll be some emotion there, but it won't be our final home game as we have won enough to host the first game at home in the conference tournament
In the first quarter, a basket by Victoria Mikkelsen put Independence on the board before free throws from Cassidy Haufler and a layup for Scout Frame to give Cloud a 4-2 lead before a free throw for Emmiley Hendrixson. A pair of free throws for Mikkelsen cut the lead to one before another layup from Haufler, but a three-pointer from Mychaell Gray tied the score at 7-7 at the 5:00 mark.
The Lady Pirates took the lead after a basket from Kierra Crockett and a bucket for Sadie Jordan gave them a four-point lead before a bucket from Scout Frame and a floater by Hendrixson tied the game at 11-11. Cloud took the lead with free throws from Kamryn Collins before a layup by Jessica Goodluck, but another bucket for Frame put Cloud ahead 15-13 at the 48 second mark and the T-Birds would take that lead into the second period.
The second quarter began with another layup for Goodluck to tie the game before a three from Chase Siedlik, but a layup from Mikkelsen cut the lead to one. Independence regained the lead with a three from Logan Collyer and a layup for Brittany Reeves pushed the lead to four before another basket from Frame made it 22-20 6:30 left in the half.
A basket by Haufler and Mikkelsen kept the Lady Pirates up by two before a three from Gray who got a breakaway basket to extend the lead to seven. Gray made a layup for a nine-point advantage before a three from Siedlik, but two free throws by Collyer made the score 33-25 with 3:00 left in the half.
Another three for Gray pushed the lead to eleven before a free throw and layup from Haufler, but two foul shots by Goodluck pushed the lead to ten. Free throws from Siedlik cut the lead to eight before a three by Macie Price and the Lady Pirates took a 41-30 lead into halftime.
In the third quarter, a put back for Reeves got the lead to thirteen before a basket from Lydia Ostenson and scores by Reeves and Haufler kept it at that margin but a basket for Ostenson got the lead down to nine.
Free throws from both sides had the lead at ten before a basket from Jordan and layup for Crockett followed by a free throw from Jordan for a 15-point advantage. A quick layup for Gray pushed the lead to seventeen before a layup for Ostenson but a basket by Crockett had the lead for the Lady Pirates at 57-40 heading to the final minutes.
The fourth quarter began with a three by Hendrixson before a basket and three from Haufler, but a basket from Crockett had the lead at fourteen before a layup from Reeves. Free throws for Frame had the lead at fourteen before a three from Collyer, but a breakaway layup from Siedlik on back to back possessions made the score 64-51 with 3:20 remaining. A 4-0 Cloud run got the T-Birds within nine before four foul shots from Gray and two from Collyer to take a 15-point victory.
Independence (16-9, 11-7) is back home Wednesday February 20 for sophomore night against the Allen County Red Devils with tipoff set for 6 pm.