The Trojanettes saw their 14-point lead shrink to as little as two but held on to defeat the host Lady Skins 50-44 in the first game of a district girls-boys doubleheader.
Cawood (8-13 overall, 6-3 district) hit just 17 of 40 free throws in the game, including an 8-for-27 showing after the break.
"The second half ... was awful," Cawood coach Bucky Burkhart said. "We've just got to make our free throws, and we don't have any problem.
"We're not great free throw shooters. We're 55, 60 percent a night, and we're going to do that. It was just a bad night."
Junior guard Emily Boggs led the Trojanettes with 18 points despite being limited to just one point in the second half. Boggs missed her first nine free throws in the half before hitting the last one down the stretch as the Trojanettes put the game away.
Defense was a key for the Trojanettes. Cawood forced 26 turnovers, frequently picking off Cumberland inbound passes.
"That started us out really well," Burkhart said. "We died down a little bit in the second half. But my kids showed heart."
Cawood never trailed, opening the game with a 7-2 run that included five points by Boggs and two by junior forward Ashley Davenport. The Trojanettes led by as many as 12 before the Lady Skins closed the period with five straight points on a 3-pointer by eighth-grader Whitney Gilliam and a basket inside by freshman Samantha Sexton. Cawood led 17-12 after one quarter.
The Trojanettes continued to control the game throughout the second quarter, pushing their lead to 36-22 by halftime. Senior guard Denna Burkhart scored seven points for Cawood in the period, and Boggs added six. Gilliam and senior center Erika Letanosky scored four apiece for the Lady Skins.
Cumberland owned a slim 24-23 rebounding advantage in the first half before hitting the glass harder in the second. The Lady Skins outrebounded the Trojanettes 54-44 for the game.
"My kids can jump, and they're athletic. They will try to go up and get it," Burkhart said. "Cumberland's just huge. We had Emily and Jyssica (Williams) and Denna all three going to the boards, and that helped us a lot."
Cumberland chipped away at the deficit in the third quarter. A pair of baskets by Letanosky and one by junior forward Stephanie Whitt helped the Lady Skins cut Cawood's lead to 39-28 with 5:25 remaining in the quarter. After Courtney Bolin scored for the Trojanettes, the Lady Skins went on a 6-0 run that included a 3-pointer by freshman Kendra Russell, a basket by Letanosky and a Whitt free throw.
Cawood answered with a free throw by freshman Jennifer Hensley, but Marisha Tinsley's putback cut Cumberland's deficit to 42-36 heading into the final period.
The Lady Skins pulled within three on two occasions in the fourth quarter. The first came on a putback by Whitt at the 5:48 mark, leaving the Trojanettes clinging to a 43-40 edge. Davenport scored inside for Cawood, but the Lady Skins countered with a drive and layup by Letanosky.
Williams answered with a couple of key plays for the Trojanettes. The junior guard hit one of two free throws at the 4:37 mark, and later came up with a steal and basket to push Cawood's lead to 48-42 with three minutes left.
Cumberland pulled back within four on a putback by Sexton, but the Trojanettes hit two of four free throws in the final two minutes to hold on.
Burkhart added 12 points and three assists for the Trojanettes. Boggs pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds.
Cumberland (11-10, 3-5) was led by Letanosky with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Whitt added nine points.
The second half was somewhat contentious, with Boggs and Gilliam each receiving technical fouls on separate plays as the action became physical away from the basket.
Both teams return to action in district doubleheaders Friday. The Trojanettes will travel to Harlan, while the Lady Skins will play host to Bell County. Both games are slated for 6 p.m.
Denna Burkhart 4-16 4-9 12, Emily Boggs 5-18 7-18 18, Jyssica Williams 1-3 1-4 3, Courtney Bolin 2-4 2-3 6, Ashley Davenport 2-4 2-2 6, Samatha Brock 0-1 0-0 0, Jennifer Hensley 2-6 1-2 5, Chelsey Hensley 0-1 0-0 0, Amanda Helton 0-1 0-2 0, Johnnie Parker 0-0 0-0 0, Courtney Lewis 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 16-54 17-40 50.
Whitney Gilliam 2-6 2-4 7, Kendra Russell 1-7 2-4 5, Stephanie Whitt 4-13 1-3 9, Samantha Sexton 2-5 0-2 4, Erika Letanosky 6-15 4-11 16, Heather Maggard 0-4 1-6 1, Marisha Tinsley 1-4 0-2 2. Totals: 16-54 10-32 44.
Cawood 17 19 6 8 - 50
Cumberland 10 12 14 8 - 44
3-point goals: Cawood 1-12 (Boggs 1-5, C. Hensley 0-1, Burkhart 0-6), Cumberland 2-9 (Gilliam 1-2, Russell 1-6, Whitt 0-1). Rebounds: Cawood 44 (Boggs 10), Cumberland 54 (Letanosky 14). Assists: Cawood 7 (Burkhart 3), Cumberland 6 (Gilliam, Russell, Sexton 2). Turnovers: Cawood 17, Cumberland 26. Fouled out: Cumberland (Sexton). Technical fouls: Cawood (Boggs), Cumberland (Gilliam).