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Lady Pirates fall to Leakey at Region IV tournament
By LINDA JACOBS
NEW BRAUNFELS—The defending Region IV champion Leakey Lady Eagles defeated the Leggett Lady Pirates 57-49 in the Class 1A Division II Region IV semifinals at New Braunfels. It was the second straight year that the Lady Pirates have fallen to the Lady Eagles. Last year Leakey won the tournament and advanced to the Final Four in Austin but lost to eventual state champion Whitharral in the state semifinals. A second trip to state was not in the cards for Leakey this year. Calvert ousted the Lady Eagles 67-43 and will represent Region IV at the UIL state tournament which begins Thursday at the Frank Erwin Center. Although disappointed with the loss to Leakey, the Lady Pirates of Coach Terri Barlow have high aspirations to reach the Regional tournament again next year and win the whole thing to earn a trip back to Austin. The Lady Pirates made back-to-back appearances at the state tournament during the 2009 and 2010 seasons. "I told them now's the time to get back in the gym and work extra hard. Focus and work hard in the off season so we can get back here and go even farther next year," said Barlow. The Pirates will have almost their entire team back next year. They lose just one senior, but a great one in Yasmine Battise, who pitched in eight points and hauled down several key rebounds against the Lady Eagles. Tyanna Barlow and Briunna Criswell, who led the Pirates this year, scoring 25 and 15 points per game, respectively, were both held under their averages in the loss to the Lady Eagles. Barlow was the top scorer with 18 points, followed by sophomore Olivia Battise with 10 points. Criswell scored eight points and Kaycee Mitchell pitched in five points for the Lady Pirates. The Lady Pirates had a couple of obstacles that held them in check. First, 6' post player Sarah Reagor was hard to work around. She picked up numerous rebounds for the Lady Eagles and made it hard for Leggett to drive the lane. Coupled with the fact, some calls didn't go in the Pirates direction. "Their size got to us and then 15 (Barlow) and 23 (Criswell) let the officials get them out of their game," Barlow said. Reagor and teammate MacKenzie Wade paced the Lady Eagles scoring 18 points apiece. Joanie Elliott also finished in double digits with 10 points. Another slow start by Leggett had the Lady Pirates playing catch up from the start. They only scored two points in the opening frame and found themselves down 14-2 at the end of the first quarter. The Pirates fought back in the second by outscoring Leakey 19-16 to trail by nine at the half (30-21). Leggett was down by double digits in the second half but kept chipping away and pulled to within six points with 6:03 left in the fourth frame. "For some reason we had slow starts in all three of our playoff games," said coach Barlow. "They didn't give up and fought back." Leakey outscored the Pirates 15-10 in the third and led 45-31 heading into the final frame. The Pirates outscored the Eagles with an 18-12 advantage in the fourth, but it was not enough to overtake the Lady Eagles who held on to win 57-49. Leggett concludes their season with a 23-5 record. The Lady Pirates won the District 26A championship and then posted playoff wins over Round Top-Carmine 55-52 for Area and a 51-47 victory over Kennard in the Region IV Quarterfinals.
The Leggett Lady Pirates (23-5) won the District 26A championship and a pair of playoff games over Round Top-Carmine (for Area) and Kennard (in the Quarterfinals) before losing to Leakey at the Region IV tournament.
Ashley Collins (10) of Leggett guards MacKenzie Wade of Leakey
Briunna Criswell drives the ball down court for the Lady Pirates
Kaycee Mitchell (3) of Leggett battles for a loose ball
Tyanna Barlow (15) guards Sarah Reagor of Leakey
Yasmine Battise (33) guards Sarah Reagor of Leakey