By JASON EPP
Leader & Times
It was not supposed to end like this for the Lady Bison. Looking to make their third straight trip to the state tournament with virtually the same starting lineup as the previous two seasons, Balko was upset by Vici in the opening round of the Area tournament, 69-57.
A bad stretch for the Lady Bison at the end of the first half carried over into the third, and Balko could never recover.
Rylee Stockton hit her third three of the game with 1:10 left until halftime to put the Lady Bison up 28-22. But Vice ended the half on a 7-0 stretch, including a buzzer-beating three to put the Lady Indians up 29-28 at half.
Jaylee Mays, playing in her final game as a Lady Bison opened the second half with a three to put Balko up 31-29. But Vici answered with a 9-0 run to go up 40-31 with three minutes left in the third.
Vici had outscored Balko in six minutes of game time 16-3 to go from being down six to winning by nine.
Vici ended the third with another buzzer-beating three and led 45-34 heading into the fourth quarter.
Balko lifted the game to a frantic pace in the fourth, scoring 23 points. But Vici ran right with the Lady Bison, never letting them closer than nine in the fourth.
Balko ends their season with a 23-4 record.