It was a battle between the Kiowa Cowgirls and the Indianola Warriorettes in the semi-final match-up Thursday night. The Cowgirls advanced to the finals in the girls bracket of the 93rd Annual Pitt 8 tournament at the Southeast Expo Center — defeating the Warriorettes 61-53.

Katy Clift led the charge for the Cowgirls with her aggressive offense and patience on defense. Clift called out plays, complimented her teammates when they deserved it, and picked them up when they needed it — as a leader should do.

The semi final shootout started out close — by the end of the first period the Cowgirls led by one point, 11-10.

Clift put 12 points on the board for the Cowgirls in the second period. Her teammates Kayla Adams, who scored nine points, and Andrea Smith, four points, increased the lead for the Cowgirls.

The Warriorettes’ Whitney Barnes had two 3-point shots and three free throws in the second period — scoring 90 percent of the points for her team. The Cowgirls still had the lead of 36-20 going into the half.

The huge screens by the Cowgirls’ Britany Smith did more work than noticed. Smith’s screens gave Clift the room to shoot easy open shots.

When the Cowgirls head coach Wade Daniel took out Smith in the third period, it left Clift on her own — although, she still scored six points.

Junior guard Chyann Vaughn was able to guard a quick swift Clift. Vaughn showed tremendous athletic ability, holding her own against Clift, a very skilled ball handler.

With Vaughn on defense the Warriorettes had time to focus on their offensive game in the third period.

The Warriorettes Allee Mabray was help from the free-throw line, contributing four points to help the Warriorettes get 14 more points in the third period. They still trailed the Cowgirls 48-34 at the end of the third period.

Before Smith could get back in the game for the Cowgirls, Barnes and the Warriorettes went on a 12-4 run in the fourth period that closed the gap to four, with the score 52-48 with 1:40 left on the game clock.

It was an old fashioned shoot-out between the Cowgirls Clift and the Warriorettes Barnes.

Barnes shot seven out of eight from the line with three field goals, getting 13 points in the fourth period. Clift shot nine out of 10 from the line.

The Cowgirls wounded the Warriorettes early and played great strategy the remainder of the game, to hold the lead all night.

The Cowgirls advanced to the finals with a score of 61-53, where they will play the Savanna Lady Bulldogs on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Contact Porky Falcon at pfalcon@mcalesternews.com

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