BAXTER SPRINGS - The Lady Lions came out on top of two local rivals last week. On Tuesday, on the road in Galena, they escaped with a win 38-32. Friday it was an end of the game buzzer-beating shot by Riley Abernathy that allowed them to squeak by Riverton 34-32. Baxter Springs is now 5-1 for the season.
Baxter Springs’ senior Kelsey Spence off the bench scored all of her six points and five rebounds when needed in the fourth quarter. Riverton’s Lady Rams were down 24-20 after three quarters. Sam Greninger and Kimmi Qualls each made a free throw with one minute gone in the fourth. Shelby Edwards tied the game at 24 with her field goal, then the Lady Rams took a three point lead on Olivia Patterson’s long range basket.
Baxter Springs’ Kassity Shafer scored to bring the Lady Lions within one. Within 30 seconds Spence scored twice to regain the lead. Qualls, on a nice spin jumper, brought the Lady Rams to down by one, 30-29. Neali Weaver then scored a 3-pointer, putting Riverton up 32-30 with 2:25 left in the game.
Spence got an offensive underneath rebound, and put the ball back up to tie the game at 32. Neither team could put the ball through the hoop, and neither team wanted to send the other team to the free throw line. With the game still knotted at 32 Abernathy’s last second shot, and her sixth point, secured the Lady Lions victory.
The score was pitifully low the first half. With five minutes gone in the first quarter, Edwards had all the points with Riverton up 4-0. Finally Cheyenna Von Moss scored and the quarter ended 4-2. The second period wasn’t much better. Baxter Springs shot 4-for-17 in the half, and Riverton went into the break ahead 11-9.
In the third, Edwards and freshman Danielle Weaver put the Lady Rams up 15-9. Abernathy got a steal and scored. Hailey Horn then scored. Abernathy added another steal, went full court for a lay-up for the 15-15 tie. Von Moss and Shaffer put Baxter Springs at 19. Qualls and Patterson tied the game at 19. Von Moss and Delaney Barnes soon put Baxter Springs at 24. With Danielle Weaver’s free throw, the third quarter ended 24-20.
Von Moss lead both teams in scoring with 10 points, including two 3-pointers. Abernathy, Spence, and Shafer added six apiece. For Riverton, Patterson finished with nine points, Qualls eight, and Edwards seven.
Baxter Springs faced a smaller, very quick tempo Galena Bulldogs last Tuesday. As the Lady Bulldogs’ coach Preston Scarrow said after the game, “We’re one post player away from having a very good team.”
With Von Moss scoring 10 of her game high 14 points in the first half, the Lady Lions were up 20-14 at the half. Foul trouble benched three Baxter Springs players in the third quarter. Sophomores Shafer and Abbey Underhill scored the only four points in the quarter as Baxter Springs held on to a 24-21 advantage.
In the fourth Von Moss made four free throws. Horn added three points, Barnes four of her 11 points, and Underhill three. Barnes collected nine rebounds in the first half and finished with 12.
Galena’s Abbey Westmoreland led the Lady Bulldogs with 11 points, followed by Paige Jensen with seven. Jara Thrower, Cadie-Marie Stapleton, and Emerson Johnson each added four points.
The Lady Lions entertain the Neodesha Bluestreaks this Friday, and enter the Cherokee Southeast Classic tournament next week. Times and opponents are to be announced.