McALESTER — Lady Cougars 41, Warriorettes 30:
When neither basketball team has experience, sometimes height makes all the difference.
The Canadian Lady Cougars had the much taller forwards, and those forwards helped them come back in the second half against the Indianola Warriorettes and stay alive in the Pitt 8 Tournament.
Canadian forwards Tiersten Fairchilds and Krysta Ketchum each scored 13 points, helping Canadian beat Indianola 41-30 in Wednesday’s consolation semifinal of the tournament at the Southeast Expo Center in McAlester.
“I basically said if we weren’t going to hustle and work any harder than we did the first half, then we would make up for that in practice,” Canadian coach Daniel Lokey said. “Instead of doing anything else, we would just run in practice. That seemed to make a difference, because they started hustling, started working harder.”
Indianola led Canadian 19-13 at halftime and looked poised to finally end the Warriorettes’ season-long losing streak. But after Indianola missed on its first possession of the second half, Fairchilds set up in the low post, then passed it to Michelle Greco for a layup.
Following turnovers on back-to-back Indianola possessions, Ketchum found Fairchilds for a layup in the paint, then Elisabeth Willis cut Indianola’s lead to 19-18 with a free throw. Hailey Folsom’s jump shot gave Indianola 2 points, then Brooke Smith’s steal led to a fastbreak layup by Indianola guard Lena Painter that made it 23-19 Warriorettes.
Canadian scored on its next two possessions to tie the game, however, as Fairchilds scored a layup and Ketchum then put back an offensive rebound. Ashley Clark’s jump shot gave Indianola the lead, but Ketchum drained a jumper of her own to tie the game 25-25.
Canadian took the lead for good when Ketchum put back another offensive rebound to put the Lady Cougars up 27-25 heading into the fourth quarter.