Lindsay Thompson was in a surprisingly good mood following a 55-49 loss to Grandview in the 40th annual Winnetonka Girls Basketball Tournament Tuesday night.
That’s because her Indians gave the Bulldogs a scare before Cierra Smith took the game over in the fourth quarter, scoring eight of her game-high 24 points to wipe out an early 43-41 Fort Osage lead at the beginning of the final period.
“There are losses that you lose sleep over, and then there are losses like tonight that you can live with,” Thompson said after the Indians fell to 2-2. “We have wins over a very good Park Hill South team and an improved Pembroke Hill team, and tonight, we gave a very good Grandview team all we had.
“And as a coach, that’s all you can ask for. And as you saw throughout the game, but especially late in the fourth quarter, Cierra Smith is a dominant player.”
Fort Osage ran off to a 16-8 first period lead, only to see the Bulldogs switch up their defensive scheme to an aggressive man-to-man style that it took time for the Indians to adjust to.
Grandview roared back to take a 23-21 lead into halftime, and the third period began an exciting finish that saw several lead changes.
Kiyley Flowers, the junior point guard who wowed the crowd with a no-look, behind-the-back pass to a teammate, scored 11 of her team-high 19 points to rally the Indians, who took a 35-31 lead at 2:25 of the third period.
But the Bulldogs went on an 8-0 run and led 41-38 going into the final period.
Flowers opened the fourth quarter with her fourth 3-pointer to tie it at 41, and Macie Smith came up with a steal and a layup to give the Indians a short-lived 43-41 lead. But the rest of the night belonged to Smith and her Bulldog teammates.
Smith hit six free throws and the Bulldogs put up a defensive stand that kept the Indians at bay the rest of the night.
“I was really happy with the way Kiyley played tonight, and I’m not just talking about her scoring – we all know she can score,” Thompson said. “She has shown a maturity that makes her an even better player. She got all her teammates involved in the game tonight and that is going to make us a better team.”
The Indians dropped to 0-2 in the tournament and will play in the fifth-place game at 4 p.m. Friday against St. Joseph Lafayette or Platte County.