Cedar Ridge entered Friday's 2-2A Conference tilt at Tiger Arena in Pangburn with an overall record of 18-2 and unbeaten in league play (9-0).
The Lady Timberwolves left Pangburn with their first league loss as the Lady Tigers pulled out a shocking 62-61 victory behind guard Windy Watts and versatile forward Kayla Gray, whose combined 48 points helped offset a game-high 27 points from Cedar Ridge guard Liz Henderson.
Tied at 58-all with Pangburn holding for the last shot, Gray was fouled near mid-court and sank two free throws. After Cedar Ridge misfired on a three-point attempt, Watts sealed the game with two more free throws.
Pangburn led 14-11 after one quarter of play but the Lady Timberwolves closed the first half strong, using a 16-0 run to build a commanding 33-22 lead, which Pangburn sliced to eight when Gray drilled a deep three-pointer up top in the closing seconds of the first half.
Pangburn Coach Christie Rolland said the Lady Tigers had to regroup in the locker room at halftime. “We tried to fix some things at halftime because the atmosphere was down a little bit because we had gotten down right before half when they had that big run. The kids were confident about the adjustments we made. To give Cedar Ridge their first conference loss … they were excited about it,” added Rolland.
The Lady Tigers began their comeback in the third quarter when post player Morgan Gregg hit a turnaround shot in the lane. Cedar Ridge point guard Haley Hix, who earned Lyon College Tournament MVP honors earlier his season after guiding the Lady 'Wolves to the title, responded with a jump shot out front.
Following a pair of free throws by Watts, Hix ripped a three-pointer from right wing as Cedar Ridge pushed its lead to 39-29 before Pangburn ran off seven straight, starting when Watts bounced to Gray cutting to the hoop for a layup.
Watts then made two free throws, and moments later Watts hit a baby hook shot in traffic while drawing contact.
Watts completed the three-point play as the Lady Tigers suddenly pulled within a bucket, but Cedar Ridge forward Tosha Lovell countered with an old-fashioned three-point play following a short pull up jumper.
Trailing 41-36, Pangburn closed the third quarter with a 9-0 run while Hix could only watch from the bench after re-aggravating a knee injury.
The Lady Tigers' spurt began with a driving layup by Watts, then Gray popped a three-pointer from left elbow, causing Cedar Ridge to call for a timeout with 2:33 left in the period.
Following the break in action, Pangburn continued its run as reserve post player Savanna Jacobs followed her own miss for two and Gray sank a heavily defended 18-foot jumper from right wing, giving the Lady Tigers a 45-41 lead entering the final eight minutes of play.
Page 2 of 2 - Pangburn reserve guard Megan Chastain buried an 18-foot jumper from right corner early in the fourth quarter, negating a pair of free throws by Cedar Ridge.
Watts extended the Lady Tigers' lead to five with a free throw but Cedar Ridge post player Shannon Butler scored inside off a high-low assist from forward Chaney Ryan.
Pangburn forward Savannah Tharp responded with a jump shot from right elbow but Butler answered again, this time from right block. Watts fired back with two free throws before Cedar Ridge guard Christine Mathis nailed a three-pointer from left wing, slicing the Lady Tigers' lead to a bucket at 52-50 nearing the midway point of the final stanza.
After an intentional foul, Watts hit a free throw but Mathis countered with two from the charity stripe for the Lady 'Wolves. Tharp secured a pass in heavy traffic, whirled around and scored in the paint but Cedar Ridge reclaimed the lead with four straight free throws from Henderson, including two following a steal by Ryan, while Pangburn also lost a key weapon as Gregg committed her fifth foul at the 3:22 mark.
With 2:33 remaining, Gray knotted the score at 56-all with a free throw, then on the Lady Tigers next possession, Gray received a pass in the lane, where she drove past two defenders and scored over two more, giving Pangburn a 58-56 advantage.
The Lady 'Wolves tied the score at 58-58 when Butler slashed right side of lane for a layup but Pangburn pulled off the shocker with two free throws from Gray and two more from Watts as Cedar Ridge failed to score until it was too late.
Henderson drilled a three-pointer with four seconds left but with Cedar Ridge out of timeouts, Pangburn held the ball as the crowd erupted, celebrating a 62-61 triumph over the Lady 'Wolves.
“We feel like we can play with anybody,” said Rolland. “We just have to step up every night and do the little things. We have put parts of games together and now we are beginning to put a whole game together so hopefully that will help us down the stretch.”
Following Henderson's game-high 27 points for Cedar Ridge (18-3, 9-1), Butler added nine, Hix finished with eight and Mathis chipped in six.
Watts and Gray each scored 24 points to pace Pangburn (15-7, 5-4), while Tharp had five and Gregg finished with four.