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Polk County Enterprise - Local News

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Leggett tops Kennard in Regional Quarterfinals

 

By LINDA JACOBS
Staff Writer

CORRIGAN—The Leggett Lady Pirates had to pull double duty to survive both a sluggish start and then an overtime period to defeat the Kennard Lady Tigers 51-47 to win the Class 1A Division II Region IV Quarterfinals. The Lady Pirates (23-4) struggled with their shots in the first half and fell behind 10-1 in the first frame. Fortunately, Kennard went cold in the second frame and the Pirates pulled to within three at the break, 19-16. "It was like a first half drought," commented Lady Pirate coach Terri Barlow. "We've never scored just 16 points in a half, it was definitely a rough start for us." The Tigers, a bit bigger in size than Leggett, was out rebounding the Pirates early in the game as well. "At times we couldn't get a rebound and then we'd get five or six in a row and we couldn't score." Both teams scored just six points apiece in the third frame to keep the Pirate deficit at three points (25-22) entering the final frame. The fourth quarter went from second gear into overdrive as the game heated up. Briunna Criswell, who finished with 14 points, ignited the Pirates with a steal and layup at the 5:56 mark to get within one (25-24). Criswell, fast on her feet and quick hands, would finish the game with six steals. Criswell was later fouled and tossed in 1-of-2 freebies to knot the game at 25-all. The game was again tied at 28-all with 3:51 left in the game. Tyanna Barlow, who led all scorers with 27 points, hit a pair of back-to-back shots to put the Pirates in the lead 32-31 with three minutes to play. Barlow also led the team with 11 rebounds plus had two blocks, three steals and one assist. Both teams went scoreless until the 1:33 mark when Madison Moore scored on a putback shot to give the Tigers a 33-32 lead. Criswell picked up another key steal and dished to Barlow who scored a layup with 1:03 on the clock to put the Pirates up 34-33. Criswell was fouled and added a free throw to make it a 35-33 lead with :41 seconds left. Jade Dodson, a serious 3-point threat for Kennard, was given the ball but missed her trey attempt. Barlow grabbed a key rebound and was quickly fouled. She calmly drained both charity shots to extend the lead to 37-33 with :20 seconds left in the game. In lightning quick speed the Tigers went down and Dodson deposited a 3-pointer to cut the Pirate lead to 37-36 with :12 seconds on the clock. The Tigers were forced to foul quickly. Fortunately for the Pirates it was Barlow who they sent to the line. Barlow netted both shots to take the lead back to three at 39-36 with just 8.44 seconds on the clock. With not much time left and expecting Dodson to pull the trigger on another trey (she hit four in the game) the Tigers tossed to freshman Kendall Adair on the baseline. Adair, scoreless at the time, tossed the ball up and through the net to tie the game with one second left on the clock. The Tiger fans blew the roof off after the clutch shot by Adair. Overtime The fantastic finish by Kennard in regulation did not trickle over into the overtime period. On the flip side, the Lady Pirates did not dwell on their misfortune. Just nine seconds into the 4-minute overtime period Criswell was fouled and sank both free throws for a 41-39 lead. The Pirates would add to their lead by scoring three unanswered hoops and a free throw to extend their advantage to nine points with 1:07 left on the clock. Kaycee Mitchell dished to Barlow who drove the baseline in for a layup at the 3:14 mark. Criswell scored a layup with 2:33 on the clock and later tossed a pass to Yasmine Battise who scored inside with 1:52 left. Barlow added a free throw with 1:07 left to give the Pirates a 48-39 lead. The Tigers quickly whittled their deficit to four points (48-44) on a field goal by Colby Adair and a Dodson 3-pointer with :38 seconds left in the game. Kennard fouled Barlow with :32 seconds left. She connected the first of two for a 49-44 lead. Olivia Battise rebounded the missed free throw and tossed to Barlow who was fouled with :25 seconds left. Barlow hit 1-of-2 again to extend the lead to 50-44. Both Olivia and Yasmine Battise finished with a runner-up five rebounds apiece for the Lady Pirates. A key rebound by Kaycee Mitchell on a Kennard miss forced the Tigers to foul again. This time Yasmine Battise was fouled, but missed both attempts. Tyanna Barlow out rebounded the Tigers and was fouled with nine seconds left. She added one final free throw to stretch the Pirate lead to 51-44. Time for just one more trip to the other end, Lady Tiger Briana Johnson pitched in a 3-pointer with one second left for the final, 51-47. The Lady Pirates had much more steam left than Kennard showed in the final four minutes. The Tigers had their chances at the free throw line but came up empty, going 0-for-8 during the 4-minute stretch. "I think they just ran out of gas," said Coach Barlow. The victory sends the Lady Pirates back to the Region IV tournament for the second year in a row. Leggett was scheduled to play Leakey in the semifinals Friday at Canyon High School in New Braunfels. Leakey, who ousted the Pirates out of the playoffs last year and advanced to the Final Four in Austin, will again be a formidable foe. The Lady Eagles defeated Rochelle 42-28 to advance to the Region IV tournament. "It's going to be tough and we can't start out slow," said Coach Barlow. "We're going to have to be relaxed and ready to play." Calvert and Menard will round out the Region IV tournament and will play the second semifinal game. Calvert defeated Chireno 58-53 and Menard defeated Moulton 49-35 to advance.

Briunna Criswell moves the ball down court for the Pirates

 

Kaycee Mitchell (3) works under pressure for the Lady Pirates

 

Olivia Battise charges around Teriana Johnson of Kennard

 

Tyanna Barlow (right) battles for the ball in playoff action

 

Yasmine Battise scores for the Lady Pirates in playoff win

 

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