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Lady Pats hold on

A week removed from posting a losing record for the first time all season, the Lady Patriots of No. 6 Pike Liberal defended their home court for the third straight game with a 45-40 win over the visiting No. 8 Taylor Road Lady Tigers Monday night.

“We needed a close game that we won,” PLAS head coach Steven Kilcrease said. “We have been in a lot of close games and we have lost all of them until this one.”

Kilcrease said the Lady Tigers tying the game and taking a lead in the second half should never have happened, but it may end up being good for the team in the long run.

“I was proud of our girls,” Kilcrease said. “I thought we defended well.”

Pike Liberal took an early lead in the first quarter and led all through the first half, but Taylor Road took their first lead of the game at 26-24 with 1:51 to play in the third quarter. Taylor Road pushed it to 28-24 before the Lady Patriots tied the score at 30-30 right before the end of the quarter.

The Lady Tigers kept it close, grabbing a lead once in the fourth quarter, but clutch free throws and pressure defense closed out the game for Pike.

“Those girls (Taylor Road) hit their shots when we gave them opportunities to tie the game and eventually take the lead,” Kilcrease said. “But our girls made the shots and the free throws when we had to. It was a good win for us.”

The Lady Patriots held an 18-13 halftime advantage, but Kilcrease was not happy with the effort in the opening two quarters.

“We shot the ball poorly in the first half,” he said. “We had open look after open look, but we weren’t knocking it down.”

But near the end of the game, the shooting was there for the Lady Patriots and Kilcrease was impressed with how junior Josie Griffin stayed calm and collected near the end. In the final three minutes Griffin hit a three-pointer that gave Pike a 42-34 lead and when the Lady Tigers clawed back to 43-40, Griffin nailed two free throws with 12 seconds to go in the game.

“I thought Josie had some big buckets late in the game,” Kilcrease said. “The three she hit and then of course the free throws to seal it.”

Rebecca Farrar posted a double-double to lead the Lady Patriots with 12 points and 10 rebounds. She added two steals. Griffin had 11 points, four rebounds and two steals. Katie Wiggins chipped in five points, 13 rebounds, two steals and one blocked shot.

Eady Pinckard had six points and 10 rebounds.

The JV Lady Patriots (1-11) clinched their first win of the season with a 24-15 victory over Taylor Road.

“It was great to get that first win,” PLAS coach Tim Davenport said. “We have been close a few times, but it feels great to finally get one.”

Katie Ward led the Lady Pats with seven points. Marlee Trunstill and Kelsey Clark each added five points.