COLBERT — Two top five teams battled to a virtual draw on Tuesday, with the Kiowa Cowgirls remaining undefeated by virtue of a 54-53 decision over the Lady Leopards.
The game was close from start to finish, even though Colbert held a seven point lead late in the third quarter. Poor free throw shooting and turnovers proved to be the difference in the ballgame.
“I think free throws were one big difference. We were 6-for-15,” said Colbert Coach Chris Gillespie. “We missed several easy shots, and we had some unnecessary, silly turnovers.
“But that’s why you play good teams,” Gillespie said. “It teaches you that you’ve got to play hard from start to finish to win down the stretch. But I was proud of the girls. We just need to learn from the mistakes we made.”
Colbert (No. 5 in Class 2A) falls to 10-1 on the season, while Kiowa (No. 2 in Class A) moves to 12-0. The Lady Leopards will have more top-shelf competition after Christmas when they travel to Tulsa for the “Tournament of Champions.”
Kiowa took an early lead but Ginavee Mowles opened the second quarter with a three-ball to tie the game at 18. The Cowgirls went on a 7-0 run before Mowles found Taylor Lyons all alone underneath the basket to stop the damage.
Colbert went on a 10-2 run in the third to take a 36-29 lead before Kiowa stormed back. The Lady Leopards held a 38-36 lead going into the fourth.
Bailee Weger hit a three to keep the pressure on Kiowa, as the Lady Leopard defense held the Cowgirls scoreless from the field for nearly five critical minutes.
Unfortunately, Kiowa did get to the free throw line often during the same stretch, shooting 7-for-8 to keep the game close. Jordan Armstrong hit a pair of threes for Kiowa and they took a slim 50-47 lead.
The Cowgirls were up four with less than a minute left when Weger hit another three (she had four on the night). But a missed opportunity to steal the ball forced Katehrine Hair to foul Lauren Smith and send her to the line.
She was 1-for-2, putting the Cowgirls ahead 54-52. Colbert missed a three and a close-range put-back, but Darian Bradford was fouled with nine seconds remaining. She went one-for-two and Kiowa was able to dribble out the remainder of the clock.
Mowles led Colbert’s scoring with 20 points, matching hot-shooting Cowgirl Addy Clift. Weger finished with 12 (all from long range), Lyons had 11, while Bradford and Hair had five apiece to round out the Lady Leopards starting five.
Kiowa boys 62 -
COLBERT – The Cowboys were deadly from deep, hitting nine three pointers in a 15-point win over the Leopards on Tuesday.
But it was Colbert who started the game shooting well, as three-pointers from Preston Rice and Caleb Shoemake helped the Leopards build an early 11-8 lead. Once the Cowboy shots started falling, they were off to the races.
Kiowa led 22-16 after a quarter, then took a 33-25 lead at the half before a 16-7 third quarter gave them a 17-point head start.
Rice finished with 20 for Colbert; Shoemake added seven; Garrett Work scored six on a pair of late threes; Peyton Whitehead had four; Charles Adams and Kason Krob had three each; James hair and Trevor Cole had two each.
Colbert boys are off until Jan. 4, 2013, when they will visit Calera to renew this great highway rivalry in a conference showdown.