Neither team was able to gain any real separation throughout the contest. Pike did take the game’s biggest lead early in the second quarter after Brittany Ward scored a rebound basket that put the Red Devils up 22-16.
However, Ben Davis responded with an 8-0 run in response to Ward’s basket, and the Giants led 26-25 at halftime. Ben Davis’ run was built on the inside game with Cuttino and sophomore Ae’Rianna Harris providing key points.
Pike opened the second half with a tightly packed zone defense, which caused the Giants problems until Adaleena Sibande hit a pair of three pointers to nullify that strategy.
“Pike played the type of defense that I would have played against us, too.” Lentz said. “(Sibande’s) baskets were crucial. She has struggled from the three-point line this year, but those were very timely.”
In the final quarter, the Red Devils made threast to claim victory after scoring consecutive transition baskets from Ciera Finch and Tyana Robinson to go up 43-39.
However, Pike’s follow up strategy to drain the clock went awry. The Giants kept pressure on the Red Devils when Sibande cashed in a 3-point play after Cuttino made a steal on the other end, while Clay’s missed free throw gave Ben Davis a final chance to win.
Balanced scoring won out for the Giants who were led by Sibande’s 13 points, but also marked up Cuttino (six steals), Harris, and Kenisha Jones with seven points each. Those numbers offset the Pike duo of Ward (19 points) and Robinson (16), who combined for 35 points.
Ben Davis improved to 10-4 with the victory, and can give Lentz his 300th career win at North Central on Tuesday night. Pike dropped to 11-7 with the defeat.