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Lady Pats make AISA Final Four, get third shot at LSA

Rebecca Farrar shot the No. 5 Pike Liberal Lady Patriots into the AISA Class 3A Final Four with a 29-point effort Friday in a 52-27 Lady Patriot victory over Tuscaloosa Academy at Huntingdon College in Montgomery.

Farrar was on fire from wherever she shot Friday night, nailing 12-of-17 field goals and connecting on 5-of-8 free throws. She added eight rebounds and three steals on the night for the 17-9 Lady Patriots.

“I was just on tonight for some reason and I felt like I had to do what I had to do to get us into the Final Four,” Farrar said.

PLAS head coach Steven Kilcrease said Farrar took advantage of what Tuscaloosa was doing.

“Rebecca had a great game and it is definitely something we knew she was capable of,” Kilcrease said. “She has been shooting it well and she came out last Saturday with 19 and now this. It was big for us because they took Eady (Pinckard) away early. But that opened up Rebecca and she knocked the shots down.”

The Lady Patriots dominated Tuscaloosa and held the Lady Knights to nine points in the second half until the starters were pulled with about three minutes to go in the game.

“I thought we played the passing lanes a lot better in the second half and we got a lot of steals on our press,” Kilcrease said. “We were able to rebound and hold them to one shot and done. I thought we played with much more intensity in the second half which is what we lacked early on.”

Kilcrease said Farrar also had a big part in the defensive effort.

“She really turned it on in the second half on defense and that is the part people don’t really realize, but she came ready to play in all phases of the game,” he said.

Kelly Cash sparked the defense off the bench for PLAS, Kilcrease said.

Pike Liberal dominated the entire game, as they held a 15-6 lead after one quarter and a 23-12 halftime advantage. The Lady Patriots never let Tuscaloosa get settled on offense and they took it to them on offense.

PLAS outscored the Lady Knights 19-7 in the third quarter and 8-2 in the fourth until the starters were all out of the game late.

The win clinched a spot in the Final Four for the Lady Patriots and they will get a third shot to beat region rival Lee-Scott Feb. 20 at 2 p.m.

“It is exciting to make the Final Four,” Kilcrease said. “I don’t know how many teams have made it from here. I know they have played for the championship before and they have been there two or three times, but it is exciting because none of these girls have been to the playoffs.

“It is a big deal and we get a shot at the best team. We knew we would need to play Lee-Scott and why not play them now. It will be a big game and we know we will have to play well to beat them so we will work hard next week to prepare for Lee-Scott.”

Josie Griffin added nine points, four steals and two rebounds.

Pinckard had five points, seven rebounds and two steals. Mary Vance Ventress had four points, five rebounds, two steals and one block and Anna Saunders chipped in two points.

Click here for a photo gallery of Friday’s action