The Couch Lady Indians are once again Big Spring Conference Tournament champions.
Playing from the number three seed, the Lady Indians knocked off the top seeded Van Buren Lady Dawgs 50-36 in finals Jan. 29 at Summersville High School to take the first-place trophy back to Oregon County with them.
Couch earned a trip to the finals by besting the second-seeded Koshkonong Lady Bluejays 52-46 in the semis, despite another big performance from Koshkonong's Katy Roark.
Roark knocked down a game-high 32 points, including six 3-pointers, but the Lady Indians led virtually the whole way, capping a six-point victory.
Kim LaBahn (10 points) made sure her squad got off to a fast start by posting a pair of inside buckets during the first period, helping Couch to a 12-7 advantage after one.
Koshkonong didn't enjoy such a quick start, and they managed to log just two field goals in the second period of play.
A good example of the Lady Jays' struggles against Couch was on display during a 15-second span just before halftime.
With the Lady Indians up 21-12, Koshkonong had four shots and three offensive rebounds in one series that went for naught, with all four shots rimming out from point-blank range under the Lady Jays' goal.
Caitlyn Melton (seven points) knocked in a jumper just before the halftime buzzer to stake Couch to a 23-12 lead at intermission.
Koshkonong warmed up a bit from the field in the third period, and they did hold Couch to a pair of hoops and four free throws in the frame, but the Lady Indians still maintained a 32-24 lead after three.
Couch opened up its margin early in the fourth with a couple of treys from Sandy LaBahn (12 points) and Traci Murdock (15 points) pushing the Lady Tribe in front 41-29.
The Lady Jays still had a couple of bullets left in their chamber, and Roark found time to fire them all.
With her squad in a 14-point hole at the 4:36 mark of the final frame, Roark went off for 13 points, including back-to-back triples with less than a minute left on the clock.
However, Couch iced the game from the charity stripe during that same span, canning nine free throws, to keep Roark's late heroics from tipping the scales to Koshkonong's side.
Tonya Combs logged three points for Couch, while Ashley Hale and Julie Williams tossed in two points apiece.
Kendra Hall and Amanda Stuart hit for four points each for the Lady Jays, with Johna Wade adding three, and Ashley Harris one.
Koshkonong bounced back the following night by taking the third-place game from Alton, 56-50.
Wade and Roark led the Lady Jays with 18 points apiece, while Mandy Driskell added eight. Hall, Harris and Stuart logged four points each for Koshkonong.
Ashley Combs paced Alton with 17, while Amber Treptow followed with eight. Chelsey Ellis and Savanna Johnson tossed in six points apiece, while Adrian Johnson and Shelli Ellis added five points each. Samantha Allred hit for two points, and Katy Rowe one.