The 37th Annual Ayersville Holiday Tournament had the Lady Pirates take on the Pilots in the nightcap. This game was decided in the middle 2 quarters as the Pilots outscored the Pirates by 8 in the middle to move to the championship. The game started with the Pirates winning the tip but it was the Pilots on the board first with a 3 pointer. Pirates Alex Hoeffel put in a basket and it was followed by an Addyson Armey 3 point play to give the Pirates their only lead of the game, 5-3. A Pilot basket was followed by a Pilot 3 point play to make it 5-8 Pilots. Pirate Amber Logan put in a basket to make it a 1 point game Pilots 8, Pirates 7. The two teams exchanged baskets to finish out the quarter (Kaitlyn Alvarado scored for the Pirates) to make it Pilots 10, Pirates 9 after one.
The Pilots opened up the second quarter by scoring 7 of the first 8 points. A lone Logan free throw was the only Pirate points during the run. Pilots 17, Pirates 10. The remainder of the second quarter was even as both teams scored 6 with the Pirates Hoeffel and Logan both hitting 3 point shots. Pilots 23, Pirates 15 at half.
Both teams struggled to find some offense in the third quarter as only 8 points were scored. The Pilots put in 5 of those 8 while the Pirates 3 came from a Hoeffel basket and an Alvarado free throw. Pilots 29, Pirates 18 after three.
The fourth had the Pilots on the board first with a basket to make an 11 point game 31-19. Hoeffel put in a basket for the Pirates to make it 31-21. A Pilot free throw was countered by a Maddie Burke basket to make it an 8 point Pilot lead 31-23. A Pilot 4 point run was stopped by a basket by Pirate Logan. The Pirates put in 5 more points to make it a 7 point rally with a Brooke Bradford 3 sandwiched between a pair of Alvarado free throws to make it a 5 point game 35-30. The Pilots scored 4 of the game’s final 6 points to make it a 37-32 Pilot final.
Alex Hoeffel led the Pirates with 9 points while Amber Logan put in 8. Kaitlyn Alvarado scored 5, Maddie Burke 4 and Brooke Bradford and Addyson Armey both had 3 points. Hoeffel, Logan, and Bradford each hit one 3 pointer for the Pirates
The Pirates will play in the Holiday Tournament Consolation game against Hilltop on Friday at 6:00. Leipsic and Ayersville will meet in the finals. Leipsice defeated Hilltop 77-26 in the other semifinals.
Go Pirates! Go Bucks!
–Mike Jones, Sportswriter