DALAINA WATSON DRIBBLES IN

It all came down to the final quarter.

Canadian hosted Kiowa in the first round of the Pitt 8 Conference Tournament on Monday, with the Lady Cougars taking the 45-39 down-to-the-wire win.

Mollie Bain struck first for the Cowgirls, but Canadian struck right back with a shot from Katie Woodruff. Kiowa’s Alison Wolfenbarger next sank a swishing three, but the Lady Cougars rattled off four quick points for force a timeout.

On the other side, Wolfenbarger drilled back-to-back threes to put the Cowgirls back out in front. But a shot from Dell Watson and a three from Dasie Graham tied the game up at 11-11 to end the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Graham didn’t take long before hitting back-to-back three-point shots, pushing the Lady Cougars out front by two possessions. After a timeout, Kiowa answered with a Wolfenbarger bucket from the right block to cut into the deficit.

After both teams traded scores, Wolfenbarger nailed another three and Jaylee Wills added a free throw to trim the Canadian lead down to two points. Bain then worked through the post, putting a shot up and in for the 21-21 tie.

Wills would later sink a triple of her own, but Ava Moreno answered with a triple from the right corner to give the Lady Cougars the 25-24 lead at the half.

At the start of the second half, Wolfenbarger got the Cowgirl offense moving with back-to-back triples to put Kiowa in front. Although Canadian would answer, Wolfenbarger hit another to take a four-point lead.

But the Lady Cougars battled, with Graham being fouled on a made shot. She would sink the resulting free three, cutting the Kiowa lead down to one heading into the final quarter.

Defensive efforts for both teams took over the opening minutes of the fourth until both teams traded buckets mid-way through the quarter. Graham would then sink a mid-range jumper to give the Lady Cougars the one-point lead with four minutes remaining.

Canadian next drew a foul on the offensive end, sending Woodruff to the line. She tickled the twine with both shots, putting the Lady Cougars out by three with just under three minutes to play.

Woodruff next posted up in the middle of the lane, and sent a shot up and in to extend the Canadian lead. That was followed by free throws for Sierra Anzlovar, with hit the front end to create a cushion.

However, Kiowa wasn’t done scoring yet, hitting a quick bucket on the other end to cut into the lead. A jumpshot from Allie Scrivner hit its mark, trimming the lead to two points.

But with time ticking down, the Cowgirls would be forced to foul — with Canadian hitting its foul shots to secure the win.

Woodruff led the way for the Lady Cougars with 18 points, followed closely by Graham with 16 points, and Watson with five points.

Wolfenbarger led the Cowgirls with 17 points, followed by Scrivner with seven points, and Wills with six points.

Canadian will next face off against Pittsburg on Thursday at Canadian in the semifinal round, with tipoff set for 6:40 p.m.

Kiowa, meanwhile, will take on Indianola on Friday at Savanna in the consolation bracket, with tipoff set for 6:40 p.m.

Contact Derek Hatridge at dhatridge@mcalesternews.com.