On Jan. 17, the Pierce City Lady Eagles secured a 64-52 victory over the Pleasant Hope Lady Pirates in the semifinals of the Marionville Lady Comet Classic.
It wasn't easy. It wasn't pretty, but in the end it was a victory.
For much of the game Pierce City held the edge on the scoreboard.
Emily Ashley turned a 7-4 deficit into an 11-7 lead at the end of the first period with a 3-pointer and two baskets. Becca Hatfield gave the green and white a 14-7 edge to open the second period with the first of her two 3-pointers.
Pleasant Hope proved to be a nuisance, using a full-court trapping press to force multiple turnovers.
The Lady Eagles let foul trouble become a problem forcing Guerin to rely upon Shania Hogan and Mattie Brottlund to play crucial minutes.
Brottlund and Hogan didn't disappoint their coach and filled in on the floor.
The Lady Pirates outscored Pierce City 19-16 in the second period to trail 27-26 at the intermission.
Krishna Merriman tallied 8 of her game-high 22 points in the third period to try to keep the Lady Pirates at bay. A rare 4-point play by Starla Staffen with 11 seconds left in the third frame gave Pleasant Hope a 42-40 lead after three periods.
Catlin Evans gave the Lady Pirates a 46-42 cushion with 5:36 to play.
Pierce City immediately countered with a layup by Christine Younker and a trey by Bailee Hayward to take a 47-46 lead.
The Lady Eagles then got a much-needed stop on the defensive end of the floor.
Younker had the ball knocked loose and it rolled to Brottlund whose 3-pointer went through the cylinder to give the Lady Eagles a 50-46 edge.
That basket opened the floodgates of a 14-6 run to end the game.
"Mattie hit a big shot," said Guerin. "We fed off that momentum to pick up the win."
Scoring for Pleasant Hope: Catlin Evans, 17 points; Staffen, 14; Kari Hillenberg, 12; Kori Hillenburg, 4; Haley Hillenburg, 3; and Kylie Haraldson, 2.
Scoring for Pierce City: Merriman, 23 points; Baliee Hayward, 13; Emily Ashley, 11; Hatfield, 8; Christine Younker, 4; Brottlund, 3; and Hogan, 2.