The Pangburn Lady Tigers and Concord Pirates both went home champions in the Midland Invitational Tournament Saturday night in Pleasant Plains, with the Lady Tigers defeating the Concord Lady Pirates for the second time within the week 49-35, and the Pirates holding off the host Mustangs 73-66.
Sr. Girls
Pangburn-49 Concord-35
The Lady Tigers made it back-to-back titles in the tournament and two straight wins over the Lady Pirates in one week, pulling away in the second half after clinging to a 24-20 lead at intermission.
Macie Hopkins and Kursten Atkins both chipped in two baskets early on to get Pangburn out to 14-9 lead, while the sophomore trio of Annalise Cornett, Ashlyn Deckard, and Avery Southerland scored all but one of Concord’s nine points to keep the contest close. Senior guard Kaleah Davis helped cut into the lead even more in the second quarter after going a perfect four of four from the charity stripe while adding a lay up to counter three baskets and two free throws from Hopkins, who led all scorers with 12 at the break while her team held a four-point advantage.
Atkins buried a triple and shot from the elbow to get the Lady Tiger offense going in the third quarter, leading to Southerland swishing three of four free-throw attempts and Davis charging to the basket for a lay in, sparking a 5-0 run from Pangburn that included two free throws from Hopkins and a trifecta from senior guard Hannah Bourgeois right before the horn sounded for a 36-27 lead. Senior forward Tylar Vernon took the reins for Pangburn over the final eight minutes, getting back-to-back layups to fall to put the Lady Tigers up double digits and sealing the win after converting on two consecutive three-point plays over the final 1:15.  
Hopkins led a trio of double-figure scorers for Pangburn with 16, as Atkins and Vernon added 13 and 12, respectively. Davis led Concord with 13, who defeated Timbo 60-24 in the quarters and West Side 54-49 in the semifinals to reach the finals. Cornett and Southerland both contributed 7.
“It’s hard to play a team twice in one week,” said Pangburn head coach Christi Rolland. “We played them Tuesday and got a one-point win and felt very fortunate to get that. They are a good team so we knew we needed to play good defense, rebound, and hopefully that would give us a chance.”
With the win, the Lady Tigers are now winners of seventeen straight and owners of an 18-1 record, going a perfect 5-0 in six days. “This team is just one of a kind,” exclaimed Rolland. “They have heart and determination. We are not real big and we have things we need to work on, but they have a desire to win. We played a lot of games this week, but they went out and played hard and thankfully we pulled it off.” Pangburn crushed Cedar Ridge 80-38 in the quarterfinal round and then demolished Rural Special 73-44 in the semifinals to reach the title game.
Sr. Boys
Concord-73 Midland-66
The Pirates earned their second straight victory over the Mustangs on their home floor in eight days to continue their recent string of success and collect the title in the process.
Senior Ryan Brock lit the spark for the Pirate offense after throwing down a thunderous dunk off a steal, followed by classmate Hunter Hartwick scoring from in the lane to compliment a jumper from Riley Cornett before Brock struck again with a three-pointer and a shot off the glass and in. The Mustangs would ring up three trifectas of their own thanks to the hot shooting  of Seth Wood and Logan Passmore to keep the game within two possessions at 18-12.
Midland would start the second quarter off with a quick 10-0 run thanks to a shot from beyond the arc from Keagan Tharp and an old-fashioned three-point play from Levi Ervin to take the lead at 22-18. The Pirates would answer the call with a 9-0 run of their own that saw Brock and Brooks Benton each connect on free throws before Benton drilled a three off an offensive rebound from sophomore Bryar Cousins while Cornett got to the cup for a strong finish.
Wood connected on his third three of the night to put Midland back on top 33-32, but Benton would show off his hot hand after making three consecutive shots from downtown to swing the momentum back in Concord’s direction, who got back-to-back field goals from Cornett from in close to take a slim 46-42 lead into the final eight minutes.
A jumper from Tharp cut the lead to 47-44, but the Pirates continued their onslaught of scoring at the basket after Cousins and Cornett scored on multiple drives, followed up by free throws and a statement coast-to-coast jam from Brock that gave Concord their largest lead of the night at 71-58. The Mustangs would end the game on a 8-2 run, but the Pirates would hold on for the victory.  
Brock chalked up a game-high 27 points for the victorious Pirates, who own a twelve-game winning streak and improve to 14-3 on the campaign. Benton and Cornett each chipped in 16 points apiece while Cousins totaled 9. Tharp led Midland with 16, with Wood adding 14 and Passmore and Tristan May both clocking out with 11 each. Concord whipped Cedar Ridge 58-29 before getting by Pangburn 55-38 in the semifinals. Midland’s trip to the final game included a 68-64 win over Palestine-Wheatley as well as a 65-50 victory over Timbo.
In other games that involved local teams, the West Side Lady Eagles edged host Midland in the first round 40-36 behind a game-high 19 points from sophomore forward Alex Southerland. The West Side Eagles defeated Abundant Life Saturday before falling to Timbo 47-35. Joe Paul Freeland finished with 14 points in the loss to Timbo. Pangburn’s senior boys beat McCrory 69-55 as Braxton Greene rang up 30 points and Alex Langley scored 16.