PILOT ROCK - Losing to Stanfield on a last-second shot nearly a month ago was still on the mind of the Pilot Rock girls' basketball team as the two met up again in Pilot Rock.
Using that loss as fuel to their fire, the Rockets fired on all cylinders, beating the Tigers 49-36.
Points in the paint was the biggest difference between the teams as Pilot Rock (13-5, 6-4 BMC) benefited from 18 points by post Brittany Doherty and 12 from center Elizabeth Willingham.
The Tigers (11-7, 4-6 BMC) had seen similar returns from Makayla Baros in the first match up, but the second go-around was much different. One of the conference's leading scorers, Baros was held without a field goal in the first half and scored just seven points as the focal point of Pilot Rock's defensive strategy.
"She had 19 against us the last game," Pilot Rock coach Brian Benson said. "We did a couple things different defensively. We just tried to deny her the ball, three-quarters or fronting her."
Doherty added the helpside defense was much sharper this time around and it resulted not only in a few points for Baros, but more rebounding opportunities for Doherty, who collected 12 boards to go with her 18 points.
Throughout the game, the Tigers tried feverishly to deny the ball into the post, but they could not stop what became a constant source of offense for Pilot Rock.
"Me and Liz have been coming in every morning, before practice, after practice and have been working hard," Doherty said. "We've really been working on sealing each other and getting low and working on getting open ... Our posts worked hard to get low and get the seal."
The biggest concern after losing to the Tigers the first time around was falling flat in the fourth quarter.
It looked like something similar could happen when Stanfield made a strong run to close the gap to two by the end of the first half. Jade Martinez all eight of her points and the Tigers ran off a 12-1 run after trailing by 10 after one quarter.
But the Rockets came out with full energy in the second half, erasing any doubt behind a 9-0 run and seven third quarter points from Willingham.
"I thought in the whole fourth quarter we played really well," Doherty said. "I'm proud of that. I just hope that we can stay solid for all four quarters. We have to bring it all together."