PITTSBURG -- Pittsburg's halfcourt offense combined with Liberty-Eylau's shooting woes to provide the Lady Pirates with a 56-46 victory in Friday's matchup of top 20 teams in Class 3A.

Pittsburg (23-4, 5-0) trailed by a bucket at the end of the first quarter, but took control of the game in the second quarter. The Lady Pirates, who entered the game ranked 17th in 3A by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches, never led by fewer than five points in the final 20 minutes of action, repelling the 13th-ranked Lady Leopards (19-4, 4-1) in the final three minutes to take control of District 13-3A's top spot in the standings.

Pittsburg's Cheyenne Ramey was one assist shy of the triple-double. She overcame a slow start shooting the ball by repeatedly finding post Meagan Peters, who delivered on several layups when she got loose from Liberty-Eylau fronting her in the post or gambling on post entry passes.

With Liberty-Eylau post Lauren Godfrey in foul trouble, Pittsburg coach Debra Manley told her team to keep getting the ball inside.

"We knew that kid had three or four fouls, so we were trying to go in," said Manley, who recently earned her 600th career win. "She finished really well tonight and played well. Cheyenne had some great passes, all the kids did. That's one thing I love about this team. They're so unselfish."

Ramey had 19 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists, while Peters added 15 points and 12 rebounds. Shakira Duffey had 13 points and seven rebounds.

Pittsburg yielded four offensive rebounds on the first possession of the game and played Liberty-Eylau to an 18-18 first-half rebounding tie.

That didn't hold up in the third and fourth quarters.

Led by Ramey and Peters, the Lady Pirates dominated the glass in the second half, outrebounding L-E 24-9 in the final two quarters for a 42-27 advantage for the game.

"We wanted to give them one shot and block out. I told them if you give them five, anybody can score, usually,'" Manley said. "We just worked on that. The kids played hard and stepped up."

Pittsburg benefited from an off night for Liberty-Eylau standouts Imani Wright and Sharde Collins, who combined to shoot 10-for-46 from the field. Nevertheless, the Division I-bound duo -- Wright to Baylor, Collins to Arkansas-Little Rock -- produced more than two-thirds of the Lady Leopards' points. Wright led L-E with 17 points and seven rebounds, while Collins had 16 points and eight rebounds. Godfrey had nine points and four boards.

Liberty-Eylau led 8-4 late in the first quarter, but Pittsburg staged a 14-0 run for an 18-8 lead with 3:05 left in the first half. Pittsburg took a 23-12 lead to halftime behind Duffey's seven points and three rebounds, plus Peters' five points and seven rebounds. Pittsburg held Wright and Collins to 2-for-23 first-half shooting.

Pittsburg's lead grew to 13 on Ramey's three-pointer, 42-29, with 6:15 to play, but L-E didn't go away. Wright got back-to-back buckets before Godfrey scored four consecutive points during a 13-5 run that cut Pittsburg's lead to 47-42 with 2:55 remaining.

Thanks to Ramey's 6-for-6 performance in the final two minutes, Pittsburg survived a 7-for-14 free-throw shooting stretch to hold off Liberty-Eylau.


District 13-3A
Girls Basketball

No. 17 Pittsburg 56, No. 13 Liberty-Eylau 46

Pittsburg High School

Liberty-Eylau -- 8 4 16 18 -- 46
Pittsburg -- 6 17 14 19 -- 56

Liberty-Eylau (19-4, 4-1) -- Imani Wright 17, Sharde Collins 16, Lauren Godfrey 9, Morgan Utsey 3, Alize Pegue 1.
Pittsburg (23-4, 5-0) -- Cheyenne Ramey 19, Meagan Peters 15, Shakira Duffey 13, Denasia Watson 5, Kasey Avinger 2, Meyika Farmer 2.