TRENTON — Edgewood High School’s size beat out Lebanon’s quickness in a nonconference girls basketball clash Monday night — by a whisker.
The host Cougars escaped with a 43-41 win when Warriors freshman Gracen Howard’s 3-point attempt at the buzzer bounced off the back of the rim.
The win was the second in a row for Edgewood, which improved to 3-4. Lebanon dropped to 2-7.
“Please don’t go in” was Edgewood coach Greg Brown’s thought on the final shot. “We’ve lost our fair share of games like that, so it’s nice to be on the winning side.
“This is a huge win for us. Our goal is to take one game at a time and build on it, and hopefully we’ve got a little bit of momentum now.”
The Cougars frustrated Lebanon with their size, harassing the Warriors into just 30.2 percent shooting (13-of-43) from the field.
“Our game plan was to slow the game down and try to take away their guard penetration,” Brown said. “We wanted to make their post players try and shoot over our height on the inside.”
Six-foot sophomore Maura Hackney was the biggest obstacle for Lebanon, scoring 11 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Her play at both ends of the floor in the final minute played a pivotal role in the victory.
The Cougars led 39-38 with just over a minute remaining when Hackney blocked a shot attempt by CC Latham at one end, then tipped in an offensive rebound at the other with 50 seconds left to put Edgewood up 41-38.
“That’s my first tip-in during a game I think, ever,” Hackney said. “I just happened to have a lot of energy at that time of the game and felt like I needed to make a play to help us get the win,
“I saw them coming at me on that offensive rebound and didn’t think I’d have time to reset and take a shot, so I just tipped it and it went in.”
Two free throws by Amanda Hobbs gave Edgewood a 43-38 lead with 22 seconds left, but the Warriors rallied with three points and had two attempts at a game-winning 3-pointer in the final 10 seconds that didn’t fall.
“We didn’t rebound well enough and we missed too many layups,” Lebanon coach Rob Hodges said. “Their size bothered us on the inside but I think our quickness forced a lot of turnovers, so it kind of evened out.
“We just didn’t box out well enough, and that’s been the same story for us all year. When we give up a lot of second-chance points and don’t take care of the basketball, we get in trouble.”
Lebanon’s Maria Rotello led all scorers with 14 points while Howard added 11 and grabbed nine rebounds. Erin Sharp added 10 points and six boards for the Cougars in their winning effort.
Edgewood visits Ross today.
Contact this reporter at (513) 696-4526 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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