After scoring all of 10 points in the first half against Calico Rock Feb. 1, the ICC Lady Cougars exploded for 13 points in the third period alone as the two squads met in the finals of the senior girls' division in the Izard County Invitational Tournament.
The third-seeded Lady Cougars had a chance to send the game into overtime with seven seconds left, but couldn't get a shot off as time expired and the number one-seed Lady Pirates claimed the tournament title with a close 44-40 victory.
ICC got on the board first with a layup from Mandy Haney (17 points) before the Lady Pirates struck back.
After Lauren Cunningham (seven points) hit a hoop and pair of free throws to make the score 6-3 in ICC's favor, Sara Walker (seven points) nailed a 3-ball and Clarisa Speak hit a baseline jumper to close the first period with Calico Rock in front 8-6.
Walker opened the second period for the Lady Pirates with her second triple of the game, and Jessica Weems (11 points) double-dipped with two shots beyond the arc to push Calico Rock ahead 17-8 with 5:43 left in the period.
By holding the Lady Cougars to four points in the second frame, on one field goal and two free throws, the Calico Rock lead stood at 19-10 at the half.
Mindy Kovalaske (10 points) hit a pair of free throws for the Lady Pirates to open the third before ICC shook off their offensive doldrums of the second period.
Ariel Yancey busted a 3 for the Lady Cougars as they went on a 10-4 run midway into the period to narrow the Calico Rock lead to 25-20.
The Lady Pirates ended the third with a run of their own as Weems closed the frame with her third trey of the game as Calico Rock moved further in front at 32-23.
The Lady Pirates experienced a little bit of a slump to start the last period as ICC ripped off the first nine points of the period to knot the game at 32-all with 5:31 left to play.
After Calico Rock advanced the scoreboard for the first time in the fourth with a hoop at the 5:09 mark, they scored seven straight, including a 3 from Bailey Sanders, to break the tie and move in front 39-32 with 1:53 left to play.
The Lady Cougars hung around and Haney hit a layup with 10 seconds left on the clock as ICC trailed by three, 43-40.
ICC had a golden opportunity to tie the game once again as Calico Rock turned the ball over on their next trip down court.
The Lady Cougars pushed the ball towards their own goal, but with seven seconds left they lost the ball at half court as the Lady Pirates survived for a 44-40 title game win.