TOWANDA – With a fast beginning to a slow end, the T-Birds beat Labette, 42-32. The victory gave the T-Birds their second straight T-Bid Classic championship.
Circle improves to 4-0 on the season with the victory.
The Lady T-Birds took the early lead as they were ahead 13-6. A Couple of steals from Kimalee Cook would push in the paint on the outside getting the reverse layup for two points. Cook would shoot for three getting the foul just right before the first quarter ended.
The T-Birds would get the much-needed push in the second quarter as they didn’t let Labette respond majority of the second quarter. Mallory Cowman and Cook would find themselves in the paint and shooting in the free lane as Labette had 6 fouls during the first half. The T-Birds defense only let one point in the second quarter alone, giving themselves a 17-point lead over Labette, 24-7.
“Our first half overall, we did a good job of taking away their inside play” Circle Head Coach Brian Henry said. “We were able to put some ball pressure to make it tough for them to make it in the post.”
Circle kept a comfortable lead with an 8-1 run with 5:41 left in the third quarter. After a needed timeout by Labette, they would find their stride and ended the T-Birds run, and give themselves a 10-2 run of their own. The T-Birds still find themselves with the lead entering the fourth quarter, 34-18.
Labette would start to answer in the final quarter as they would get an 5-2 run on the to pull within a few points.
A couple of defensive stops on the T-Birds possessions would slow down the T-Birds offense as Labette defense give up eight points in the fourth quarter.
The T-Birds found themselves as T-Bird Classic Champs back-to-back as they won the Classic in the 2018 season last year.
“It’s always nice to host this tournament, it’s a great tournament with lots of tradition.” Henry said. “Labette County is a tough team, the energy and effort they was going to bring against us was something we was going to have to match, and I felt that we did a good job of doing that.”
Cook would have herself a game as she led the team in scoring with 19 points, shooting 50 percent from the free throw line.
“It was great because we came in knowing Labette was a really good team, we knew we had to play our best,” Cook said. “It’s always hard to win it two years in a row, winning it again is pretty great.”
Circle T-Birds – 13; 11; 10; 8 – 42
Labette County Grizzlies – 6; 1; 11; 14 – 32
Circle T-Birds – Cook 19, Cowman 10, Chase 6, Claycamp 5, Meier 2
Labette County Grizzlies – Stewart 7, Ryan 6, Dean 5, Stice 4, Brannin 3, Forbes 3, Heier 2