Despite a lackluster performance in the third quarter, the Lady Pioneers rallied in the fourth quarter to reclaim the lead for a thrilling 28-23 win Tuesday night over the Lady Eagles from Morrison.
The Lady Pioneers trailed 18-16 after the third quarter. Katie Toney took the entire WCMS offense on her back and played the final period on a different level.
Toney led all scorers and dropped 10 of her 18-point total in the final quarter. She was relentless in her pursuit of the ball.
Toney led by example and she attacked Morrison on both ends of the floor. Her teammates responded and followed her lead in the come-from-behind win. WCMS gave up nothing easy in the final period and the defense took the air out from under the Lady Eagle offense.
Lia Wright and Gaby Monzon combined for 21 points and all of the Lady Eagle offense except for two points. The aggressive WCMS defense limited the duo to just five points in the final quarter. Monzon shot 2-of-2 from the charity stripe, while Wright pulled up and knocked down an open 3-pointer.
The Lady Pioneer defense forced turnovers and the ball was constantly knocked away from the Morrison offense. Those loose balls were picked up by WCMS and quickly taken back the other way. Toney hit multiple layups down the stretch and she shot 6-of-8 from the free-throw line. Mea Starkey was the only other Lady Pioneer to score in the closing minutes.
The resilience of the Lady Pioneer defense shined bright in the fourth quarter and the Lady Pioneers claimed the lead and the win over the Lady Eagles, 28-23.
These two teams are very similar and eerie similar in size and style of play. The lead changed hands every quarter for four quarters. Wright and the Lady Eagle offense dominated the Lady Pioneers in the first quarter and led 7-4. Toney was scoreless in the first quarter for WCMS.
In the second quarter, Toney came to life and led the Lady Pioneers with six and Halo Armstrong helped claim the lead with a pair of free throws. The Morrison offense fell off in the second quarter and the Lady Eagles only picked up three points before the half and Morrison trailed 12-10.
Morrison regrouped and came out swinging in the third and reclaimed the lead. The Lady Eagle defense stepped up the intensity and pressure on the ball. Monzon came out and dominated the floor and she singlehandedly scored all eight points for Morrison.
The Lady Eagles had reclaimed the lead at 18-16 but could not deliver the knockout blow to put away the Lady Pioneers.
LADY PIONEER SCORING – Katie Toney 18, Ena Yasungar 4, Mea Starkey 4, Halo Armstrong 2
LADY EAGLE SCORING – Gaby Monzon 11, Lia Wright 10, Lexie Whipple 2