As the old adage goes: ‘It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.’
After holding Beech to just a single field goal in the first quarter, many thought the Rossview Lady Hawks were on their way to a blowout win over the Lady Bucs; however, the Lady Buccaneers gave Rossview all they could handle on Friday night.
In the case of RHS, it’s how they started andfinished. The Lady Hawks played a near-perfect first quarter against Beech, holding the Lady Bucs to just four total points and one made basket over the game’s first 10 minutes. They also forced seven turnovers in the period.
Going into the half, BHS had cut the deficit to seven behind a 12 point second quarter. Even while tailing heading into the half, the Lady Buccaneers held the momentum.
BHS was able to not only mount a comeback, but were also able to take their first lead of the game midway through the third period. With 4:21 left, the Lady Bucs held a 25-24 advantage. By the end of the quarter, they led 31-27 and did something that RHS did to them in the first — held them to just one made basket.
Then Laci Edwards happened.
With just under six minutes remaining, Rossview trailed 38-30 -- their largest deficit of the game. The Lady Hawks’ only bucket within eight minutes was a Laci Edwards three. While some would expect a barrage of field goals needed to mount a comeback, this was not the case: the Lady Hawks came away with the win due to their work at the charity stripe.
Of their 17 fourth-quarter points, nine came from the junior Laci Edwards. In addition to her three-pointer, Edwards went 6-for-6 from the line in the game’s final 10 minutes including the go-ahead makes with less than a minute to play.
Rossview held a 44-42 lead with under seven seconds to play and Beech’s Jada Jones split her attempts at the line, missing the latter shot. The Lady Buccaneers grabbed Jones’ miss but the putback by Bri Ellis was too strong. After grabbing another offensive board, a non-shooting foul was called by an official with 0.7 seconds remaining. BHS was able to find an open shot on the inbound pass, but the buzzer sounded before the Lady Bucs were able to get a potential game-winning basket.
After playing their second game in as many days, RHS head coach Justin Woods said fatigue set in for his team over the final 16 minutes but is proud of the way his girls battled back, especially in the fourth quarter.
“I think in the third our legs got a little tired and we were feeling last night a little bit,” Woods said. “I told them at the end of the third that they have all weekend to rest, the next eight minutes I need everything you got and they gave it to me which is the response you are looking for in that situation.”
The third quarter has been a struggle for the Lady Hawks throughout their season. Woods said he was proud of his team overcoming their third-period woes to come away with the thrilling victory.
“At the end of the third I just said, ‘well, our bad quarter is over. The fourth is ours. Let’s turn the energy level back up and let’s go out there and get some stops,’” Woods said. “I thought we were able to do that. Our energy on defense turned into transition offense and we were getting to the rim and getting fouled. I think we were 12-for-14 from the line in the fourth. To see the ball go in, that helps your energy levels on defense as well. I think our defense is what ignited us.”
Woods and his Lady Hawks will stay home for their next contest as they welcome Montgomery Central on Monday night. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. Beech will travel to Green Hill on Tuesday for a 6 p.m. tip in Mt. Juliet.
Rossview (44): Laci Edwards 14, Aubrey Padgett 9, Chelsea Williams 8, Evie Darnell 7, Torri James 4, Emani Collier 2.
Beech (43): Laci Walmer 12, Bri Ellis 9, Jada Jones 8, Christa Dean 8, Natasia Jones 4, Kyndal Chenault 2.