Highland won the tipoff, but Calico Rock's Kori Lamb stole the ball and scored with a layup to let the Lady Rebels know they were in for a fight against the Lyon College Tournament's number one seed in the semi-final round.
But the Lady Rebs, eventual tourney champs, rose to the occasion and stole a 51-46 win over Calico Rock to get into the championship game on Dec. 7 in Batesville.
Finding themselves behind the Lady Pirates 11-8 in the first period and 23-22 at the half, Highland rallied to hold Calico Rock to just 10 points in the third.
Kristen Ellis (14 points) nailed four jumpers and a free throw for nine points, and Erika Lozano (13 points) added a trey to give Highland its first lead, 38-33, after three periods.
Although the Lady Rebels easily acquired fouls in the second half, Calico Rock, with time running out, had to foul on five straight possessions in the fourth to get Highland into the bonus so the Lady Rebels couldn't run the clock out.
Allison Price hit her two free throws, Lozano added a jump shot, and Ellis hit one of two at the line to close out the deal.
Kimberly Sutterfield led the Lady Pirates with a game-high 24 points, while Lamb finished with eight. Jessica Sanders and Hannah Wright had five points each, with Miranda Jones and Emily Jenkins adding two points apiece.
The Calico Rock Pirates crushed the visiting Cushman Bulldogs 57-29 in 1A-2 South action Dec. 4 at Harold Ray Jeffery Gymnasium. Jake Pool tallied a game-high 18 points for the Pirates, with Heath Branscum adding 14 and Joey Vannatter 11 points.
The Lady Pirates (14-2, 4-0) had a similarly easy time with Cushman, winning 51-23.
Wright, Kelsey Knowles and Miranda Jones logged eight points each for Calico Rock.