Trailing 32-26 at the end of three, Frontier outscored the Lady Pilots 24-14 in the fourth and made 17-26 free throws that helped the Lady Cougars to a 50-46 victory in the OVAC Class-2A Semifinals inside R.L. Potts Gymnasium Feb. 5.
After a slow start where the Pilots led only 9-6 after one period of play, Frontier would knock down a bucket right before the halftime buzzer to narrow the gap to 18-17.
The rust from the long time between games continued to show in the third period, as both the Lady Cougars and the Pilots couldn't put the ball into the hoop with any consistency. Frontier fell behind by six points, 32-26, heading into the final eight minutes of play.
With a little under four minutes remaining in regulation, the Pilots' Haylee Bowers nailed one of two free throws to give River a 33-30 lead. From there, Lady Cougar Kelsea Daugherty went to work offensively, scoring eight of her team-high 17 points that included 6-6 at the line. Defensively, the Cougars held Lady Pilot scoring machine Jensen Caretti to five markers in the frame.
From there, the Lady Cougars would go on a 9-0 run to grab a 39-33 advantage with Daugherty and Corisa Fickiesen doing all the scoring. During this time, the Cougars out-rebounded and out-hustled the Lady Pilots to every loose ball, including 16 offensive rebounds.
Caretti stopped the bleeding on a lay-up, but the Pilots would not get any closer than four points the rest of the way. However, the Pilots used a lot of energy to narrow the gap from seven markers with one minute to go. However, Frontier nailed the coffin shut by scoring the rest of their points from the charity line. The Cougars were at the charity stripe 40 times and cashed in on 27 attempts, while the Pilots saw the free throw line only 19 times and made eight of them. Two of River's attempts were nullified on lane infractions.
The Pilots were led by Caretti with a game-high 20 points, while Landyn Ramsay tickled the twine from long range three times for nine points. Devyn Potts followed with six markers, while Monica Curtis netted a triple. In addition, Bowers and Abby Caldwell each tallied three points. Haylee Winkler ended all the scoring for the Pilots with a deuce. Daugherty scored a team-high 17 points, while Fickiesen netted 11 to lead the Frontier scoring.