WELCH - Back-to-back 3-point goals by Jacey Knight and a layup off a feed by her helped rally the Commerce girls in their36-31 victory over Ketchum in a semifinal game at the Kenneth Sooter Invitational.
The Lady Tigers faced St. Paul, Kan. in Saturday night's championship game. St. Paul had earned its berth with a 42-32 victory over Welch on Thursday.
Watts topped Chetopa, Kan., 67-46 in a consolation game Friday afternoon.
"We're still making mistakes, but I liked the effort and hustle," Commerce coach Jerry Myers said. "We just have to learn to hold on to the ball and take care of it. I was as happy as I could be."
Commerce jumped out to an 8-0 lead then went into a lull that saw the Lady Warriors take a 21-18 lead at the half.
"That's been our story so far," Myers said. "We had that 8-0 run to start then all of a sudden got off track."
Each team scored six points in the third quarter, then Knight dropped her bombs on Ketchum thanks to inside-out plays that left her wide open - and left the Lady Tigers with a 30-27 lead.
Kourtney Reading added a layup after taking a pass from Knight. That bumped the lead to five with 5:18 remaining.
The Lady Tigers opted to spread the floor and run off some time, but instead, Ketchum scored four straight points to slash the margin to one, 32-31 with 2:56 remaining.
Mandy Watson hit the second of two free throws then sister Courtney connected from inside to break Ketchum's back.
"I had watched Ketchum play and was impressed - they beat Oklahoma Union by nine, so I was a little concerned," Myers said. "We haven't had the best of practices and have had people miss for this and that."
Eight of Commerce's 18 points in the decisive second half came from inside the paint via the 5-11 Watsons. Ketchum's tallest players were 5-8.
"Mandy has been struggling inside on point-blank shots, but she made a couple of tough ones," Myers said. "We got a couple of easy breaks because Courtney was running the floor."
Courtney Watson finished with eight points and Mandy Watson added six.
Reading scored a game-high 12 points for Commerce. Knight had nine.
Bobbi West had 10 points for Ketchum, which missed 10 of its 16 free throw chances.
Watts 67, Chetopa 46
The Lady Engineers led 29-24 at intermission then broke the game open with a 22-6 run in the third quarter.
Rikki Potter had 21 points and Nicole Stanley added 19 for Watts.
Lindsay Pease scored 20 for Chetopa.
Commerce 8 10 6 12 - 36
Ketchum 3 18 6 4 - 31
Commerce - Knight 12, Reading 9, C. Watsons 8, M. Watson 6, Herrera 1.
Ketchum - West 10, Garrett 7, Lancaster 6, Riley 4, Johnson 3, Kester 1.
3-point goals - Reading 1, Knight 3, West 2, Johnson 1.
Watts 12 17 22 16 - 67
Chetopa, Kan. 10 14 6 6 - 46
Watts - Potter 21, Stanley 19, Reynolds 3, Asbell 2, Glass 2, Harrington 2.
Chetopa - Pease 20, Luper 6, Johnson 6, Moses 4, Ingram 3, Brown 3, Kabrey 2, Wittington 2.