The Bucklin Lady Aces didn't start off in a good way, giving up nine of the first 12 points of their Southern Plains-Iroquois Activities Association quarterfinal to the Kiowa County Lady Mavericks.
Once the Lady Aces got to clamp down on their defense, the Lady Aces were able to slow down Kiowa County as sophomore guard Janae Price started to get a hot shooting touch to record a 49-39 victory at United Wireless Arena.
"We had to attack on defense because we were so sluggish on offense," said Bucklin head coach Craig Bowman. "We couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, so we had to pick it up on defense to get some transition baskets. They came out controlling the game early, but we were able to come back. We persevered and picking up the defensive intensity eventually won us the game."
Bucklin was able to gain a 21-20 lead at halftime and then had Price take over as their primary scorer. The two teams were tied at 24-apiece before an eight-point run helped the Lady Aces pull away to as much as a 10-point lead and a 35-27 margin by the end of the third quarter.
Price scored 18 of her game-high 26 points in the second half (13 in the final stanza) to help the Lady Aces (8-2) push the margin further away from Kiowa County as the game continued. Price hit four from beyond the 3-point arc.
"I knew I just needed to have confidence in my shot as the game went on," Price said. "Morgan Hood got me the ball when I was open and that helped out a lot, too."
Halie Headrick led Kiowa County (5-7) with 13 points and Katelynn Gamble added 10 in the loss for the Lady Mavericks.
KIOWA COUNTY (39) – Katelynn Gamble 10, Heather Melton 6, Riann Heft 2, Halie Headrick 13, Angela Liggett 2, Dena Liggett 5, McKenzie Heft 1. Totals 14 8-10 39.
BUCKLIN (49) – Gentry Stout 7, Janae Price 26, AJ Cossell 4, Morgan Hood 7, Allyson Rudd 5. Totals 16 11-24 49.
Kiowa County911712 – 39
Bucklin7141414 – 49
Three-point baskets – Kiowa County 3 (Headrick 3), Bucklin 4 (Price 4). Records – Kiowa County 5-7, Bucklin 8-2.