The Lady Raiders overcame a slow start at home Friday night against the visiting Lamar (MO) Tigers to pull away and earn a 46-36 victory.
Frontenac had only 12 points at halftime, but came alive from the floor in the second half. The Raiders dominated the boards, led by senior Lauren Hipfl’s 12 rebounds and used their size advantage to wear down Lamar. Frontenac was led in scoring by seniors Emily Merando and Kennedi Fields, who each scored 11.
Frontenac’s defense caused concern for Lamar from the opening tip. The Raider guards, Merando and Fields, played tight defense and the frontcourt of Frontenac did an excellent job of denying entry passes into the post. The offensive side was another story for Coach Jeremy Rakes’ squad, as they only made one field goal in the opening quarter. After one, it was Lamar up, 8-4.
The Raiders found it hard to get good looks against Lamar’s tough zone defense in the first half, while the Tigers were able to extend their lead to 11-5 with just over two minutes gone in the second quarter. Frontenac was hurting themselves with numerous unforced turnovers, and the frustration of the Raiders was turning into foul trouble. A 7-2 run by Frontenac cut Lamar’s lead to 13-12 with just over one minute to go until half, but the Tigers would score once more to claim a three-point lead heading into the locker room.
Whatever Coach Rakes said at halftime to wake his ladies up, it certainly worked, as Frontenac would go on a 9-2 run midway through the third quarter and take their first lead of the evening, 24-23, following a Hipfl made free throw. The Raiders were simply out-working the Tigers, winning loose balls, getting every rebound, and knocking down their shots. Heading into the final quarter, Lamar was visibly exhausted, and the Raiders were just getting warmed up.
Lamar played hard the first four minutes of the fourth quarter, but the depth of Frontenac finally broke them. With the score tied at 33-all, the Raiders would finish the game on a 13-3 run, holding the Tigers without a point for over four minutes. Lamar tried fouling to lengthen the game, and also because Frontenac’s one weakness in the game was their percentage from the charity stripe. But, the Raiders were able to knock their shots down, and won going away, 46-36. Besides the 11 scored by both Merando and Fields, Hipfl added 9 points and 12 rebounds, and freshman Madison Davis added 7 points off the bench.
Athletic Tigers Run Away from Raiders in 2nd Half
In a game that saw 63 total fouls called, and too many travelling violations to count, the Lamar (MO) Tigers were able to go into Frontenac and take the victory Friday night by a score of 79-65. Almost half of Lamar’s points came from the free-throw line, as the Raiders were called for 35 team fouls on the night, though, surprisingly, not one player fouled out. The athleticism of the Tigers seemed to be too much for Frontenac, however, especially in a second half that saw Lamar score 44 points. Junior Ryan Long and senior Colin Coronado paced the Raiders with 14 points each.
The first two minutes saw some rough play by both teams, though no fouls were called. When a couple of players on each team started getting visibly upset, the refs started calling the game tight, real tight. By the end of the first quarter, both Frontenac and Lamar had 10 team fouls called on each other, and the Raiders used 11 different players in the quarter. Frontenac was able to maintain a lead for most of the quarter, though, and ended the period up 17-13.
The second quarter became a glorified free-throw shooting contest. At one point, there were five fouls called in a 14 second period. Lamar was dominating in total rebounds, but Frontenac was knocking down almost all of their free throws. With just over three minutes to go in the quarter, the Raiders were up 8, 35-27. The Tigers would end the half on a run that would see them tie the score heading into halftime. Because of the mass-amount of fouls called on either team in the first half, 20 total on Frontenac and 15 on Lamar, Coach Doug Barto was forced to use all 13 of his Raiders. 11 Frontenac players would score in the game.
Lamar began the second half on a 7-0 run and did not look back from there. A three-pointer, an alley-oop dunk, and another three-pointer of successive possessions by the Tigers put them up 58-45 and effectively sealed the deal for Lamar midway through the third quarter. The Tigers outscored Frontenac 26-11 in the third.
The Raiders tried a comeback in the fourth quarter, cutting a Lamar lead that had blossomed to 21 down to only 11 with less than three minutes to go, punctuated by a Ryan Long three-pointer, but the Tigers were able to hit their free throws and won convincingly, 79-65. Long and Coronado both had 14 points for Frontenac, and Riley Swigert added 7 while Terry Young added 8.