The Eagles grabbed a quick lead in the first quarter, pulling ahead 10-5. The Indians tied at 10-all with less than two minutes in the first period with a score from senior Grace Bernskoetter.
Bernskoetter added another basket, and the first period ended 14-14.
Indians coach David Brewer knew his team needed to step up its efforts.
“Our aggressiveness wasn’t where it was in the first game [of the season]. Our rebounding wasn’t where it was the first game,” said Brewer.
The Indians found their pace in the second quarter, keeping the Eagles to a 2-point margin through much of the period. The Indians snatched the lead at halftime, with a score of 26-24.
The Eagles pushed back in the third quarter, but the Indians held them to a close margin. The Eagles’ Emily Ashley (sr.) challenged the Indians’ defense with a 3-point shot that put the Eagles in the lead 30-28. The third quarter ended with a lead for Pierce City at 35-33.
Brewer changed strategy to outmaneuver Ashley at the basket.
“Number 24 [Emily Ashley] did a great job of beating our press getting to the baskets, so we had to decide to play a little bit different. I think that helped us,” said Brewer.
The Indians doubled their efforts in the final quarter and held a narrow lead of 41-39 with just over a minute remaining. They broadened their lead with two free throw shots and prevented the Eagles from scoring, to finish the game 43-39.
The Indians Emily Oberbeck (sr.) led her team with 12 points, followed by sophomore Amanda Rowden at 11 points.
“We came out pretty dull, but I think we picked it up in the second and third quarter—a lot,” said Oberbeck.
Strafford 14 12 7 8 41
Pierce City 14 10 11 4 39