The Lady Hornets are going to the championship.
Crowder battled Stuart in the Pitt 8 Conference Tournament semifinals on Thursday in Canadian, with the Lady Hornets securing a spot in the conference title game with a 69-63 win.
After Stuart scored the first points of the game, the Demonettes bursted on an 8-2 run to take an early lead.
But as Stuart’s Haddie Lindley headed to the line to shoot free throws, a technical foul was issued to the Crowder bench — resulting in four made free throws from Lindley to cut into the lead. Lindley followed that up with a swishing triple to give the Lady Hornets the lead.
Both teams continued to trade buckets for most of the opening period, with Stuart finding itself ahead 23-16 by the end of the quarter.
In the second quarter, each team nabbed a three-point bucket courtesy of Haili Igou and Brooky Surginer. The Demonettes looked to cut into the Stuart lead, and five quick points from Kylie Smith put Crowder within two points.
But the Lady Hornets had an answer, closing out on a 5-2 run to secure a 34-29 lead at the half.
At the start of the second half, the Demonettes opened with a 8-4 run to trim the Stuart lead down to two points. That’s when Madi White nailed an arcing three to put Crowder back in the lead.
The Lady Hornets responded, and the two teams began trading buckets and the lead — with Stuart finding itself ahead 46-44 at the end of the quarter.
Crowder’s Maggie Sockey opened the fourth with a fadeaway jumper to tie up the game. She later added a free throw and a swishing three-point shot to put the Demonettes back into the slim lead.
But a long three from Lindley evaporated the deficit as she tied up the game at 53-53, and followed it up with one more on the next possession to take the lead with three minutes remaining.
Not done yet, Crowder’s Peyton Smith added a long three of her own — tying up the game once again. But a free throw and a bucket from Addisyn Dalton put the Lady Hornets back on top.
With under a minute to play and down six, the Demonettes would be forced to foul. But Erin Underwood and Igou sank their free throws — sealing the win for the Lady Hornets.
Lindley led the way for Stuart with 16 points, closely followed by Igou with 15 points, and Braelyn Blasengame and Taloa Ott with 12 points each.
Sockey led Crowder with 25 points, followed by Kylie and Peyton Smith with 11 points each, and Surginer with nine points.
Next up for the Lady Hornets, they’ll take on Pittsburg in Saturday’s title game Saturday at Canadian, with tipoff set for 6 p.m.
Crowder will advance to the third place game on Saturday at Canadian to face off against Canadian, with tipoff set for 3 p.m.
PITTSBURG 72, CANADIAN 23
The Lady Panthers are heading back to the championship.
Pittsburg and Canadian faced off in the Pitt 8 Conference Tournament semifinals on Thursday in Canadian, with the Lady Panthers jumping out to the 72-23 win and advancing to the title game.
The Lady Panthers secured four quick points before Katie Woodruff answered with a rebound and putback for the Lady Cougars. But that’s when Trinity Wiseman rattled off a solo scoring run for Pittsburg, nabbing 14 points on the way to a 23-4 lead after the opening quarter.
In the second quarter, Wiseman kept her offensive rhythm by adding an arcing triple. That was followed by another three from Tori Kilburn, pushing the Lady Panthers further out front.
Canadian would add to its tally thanks to a trip to the foul line from Dusty Bush and a bucket from Woodruff — making it a 38-7 Pittsburg lead at the half.
On the other side of the locker room visit, Woodrull started things off with a quick two points for the Lady Cougars. But the Lady Panthers continued their offensive push with three straight triples from Kilburn, Shasta Whitmore, and Katie Allen.
While the two teams battled until the end, it’d be the Lady Panthers riding the momentum to the win and advancing to the championship game for the second-consecutive year.
Wiseman led the way for the Lady Panthers with 22 points, followed by Kilburn with 10 points, and Whitmore and Camryn Graham with nine points each.
Woodruff led the way for the Lady Cougars with 12 points, followed by Baylie Garnder with five points, and Bush with four points.
Next up for Pittsburg, it’ll take on the winner between Stuart and Crowder in Saturday’s title game Saturday at Canadian, with tipoff set for 6 p.m.
Canadian will advance to the third place game on Friday at Canadian against the loser between Stuart and Crowder, with tipoff set for 3 p.m.
Contact Derek Hatridge at firstname.lastname@example.org.