CHEROKEE - The Lady Lions advanced to the championship game of the 25th Lancer Classic last Saturday in Cherokee. Baxter Springs fought hard from a deficit in the fourth quarter, but the St. Paul Lady Indians prevailed 49-46. Baxter springs is now 8-2 for the season.

Freshman Delaney Barnes scored Baxter Springs' first five points to start the Lady Lions with a 5-3 lead. Barnes ended the championship game with 24 points, with 13 coming in the first half. She finished the game shooting 8-11 at the free throw line.

At the first quarter buzzer, senior Riley Abernathy brought Baxter Springs down by two 14-12. After St. Paul’s Sydee Rice scored in the second quarter the Lady Indians went on a 8-2 run and was up 22-16. After a free throw and a 3-pointer by St Paul they led 26-18. Soon St Paul had a 30-20 advantage. Three straight field goals by Barnes ended the half 32-26.

Baxter Springs didn’t score in the third quarter until sophomore Abbey Underhill added a basket and a free throw. Soon St. Paul was on top 40-29. Barnes completed a plus-1, and added a buzzer basket to end the quarter 40-34.

Barnes started the fourth with two free throws, and Abernathy stole the ball and went full court for a lay-up. St. Paul connected on a plus-1 and a 3-pointer and led 46-38 with 4:45 left in the game. Barnes was then 1-2 on free throws, scored a basket, and again was 1-2 on her free throws. After Abernathy’s field goal with 35 seconds left the Lady Lions were down by only two 46-44. Two free throws by St. Paul put them at 48. Baxter Springs had a turn over. Another free throw by St Paul put them at 49 and the tournament champions. Abernathy finished with 14 points, and Katelin O’Brien led the Lady Indians with 24 points.

The Lady Lions, seeded third, started off on the right foot of the Cherokee-Southeast tournament downing sixth-seeded Jayhawk-Linn 32-24 on Tuesday.

The Baxter Springs-Jayhawk-Linn game started out slow. Sophomore Kassity Shafer had a basket and Barnes made three free throws. Jayhawk-Linn added three free throws for a 5-3 score to go into the second. Senior Cheyenna Von Moss made a 3-pointer, and a basket. Senior Kelsey Spence scored, and Underhill added 5 points in the second quarter. Jayhawk-Linn could add nothing but three free throws, and Baxter Springs was up 17-6 at the half.

Jayhawk-Linn made their first field goal of the game on a 3-pointer in the third. Baxter Springs only had a basket by Abernathy, and free throws by senior Hailey Horn and Barnes, but still led 22-11.

Barnes with 8 free throws had her first field goal with one minute left in the game for her team’s high of 10.

After defeating Jayhawk-Linn Baxter Springs advance on Thursday to play face second-seeded Pierce City, Missouri (13-3). Pierce City wasn’t kind to host Cherokee-Southeast in their opening game shutting out the Lady Lancers 16-0 in the first quarter, and was up 32-2 at the half. They went on to win 47-16.

Baxter Springs sophomore Kassity Shafer started the scoring with the Lady Lions up 4-0. Barnes scored her only two points of the half, and the game was tied at eight at the end of the first. Von Moss drained a 3-pointer, and the Lady Eagles were on top 23-21 at the half break.

Barnes got on track in the remainder of the game. She started the third quarter with two free throws, and completed a plus-1 to put Baxter Springs up 26-23. Soon Pierce City regained the lead 27-26. Von Moss drained another trey, but the Lady Eagles tied the game at 40. Spence added a field goal, and Abernathy added her own 3-pointer. After Horn’s basket Baxter Springs led 36-31 to go into the final stanza.

With Barnes’ two free throws at the start of the fourth quarter, the Lady Lions took a 38-31 lead. Pierce City came back to be down 38-36. Barnes scored again, but the Lady Eagles went ahead 41-40 with 3:20 left. Abernathy sank two free throws and the game was knotted at 41.

With the only player that could guard Barnes fouled out, the Lady Lions coach Cory White continually had the ball fed inside to Barnes. With 1:15 left Barnes added two more free throws. After Von Moss fouled out Pierce City made 1 of 2 free throws to be down 43-42, and took the lead 44-43 with 25 seconds left. With five seconds remaining Barnes tied the game on her first free throw, but her second shot rimmed out to put the game in OT.

In overtime Horn made one of two free throws. The Lady Eagles retook the lead 46-45, and Horn fouled out. Baxter Springs only have eight girls on the varsity squad and this left only one player left on the bench. Abernathy and Barnes were playing with four fouls. Barnes came back with more free throws, and scored on the inside and was fouled. She couldn’t connect on her charity toss. Barnes came back with two free throws, but so did Pierce City to tie the game at 49. Pierce City committed a costly turn over, and with 18 seconds left Barnes put the Lady Lions at 51. At the buzzer, the Lady Eagles fired a three pointer, but it went in then out.

Barnes finished the game with five blocked shots and five rebounds. Abernathy grabbed eight rebounds plus three steals, and Shafer had six rebounds.

Barnes finished the three game tournament with 54 points and was chosen on the all tournament team. Von Moss and Abernathy also made the elite selection.