MOUNT GILEAD — North Rowan only trailed for two seconds of Tuesday’s YVC clash with West Montgomery.
Unfortunately it was the final two seconds of the game, which led to a gut-wrenching 71-70 loss in a pivotal conference game between the second and third-place teams.
Stephanie Lindsey stole the inbounds pass and sunk an open layup with 2.4 seconds left as West completed its game-long rally. West’s Latoya Cuthrell scored 26 points despite fouling out with 4;14 left in the game.
The Cavs led 70-69 with nine seconds left when Lindsey capitalized on a miscommunication and got a clear path to the hoop for the easy game-winner in an entertaining clash.
“We played really well for three quarters,” North coach Brian Lytton said. “We didn’t take care of the ball or rebound in the fourth quarter. If we do that we win the game.”
West’s win put it in good standing for second place in the YVC while North will have to settle for third.
Hitting 1 of 9 free throws in the fourth quarter were most damaging as North freshman Special Washington’s 24 points were spoiled
After Lindsey’s heroics, North failed to connect on the inbounds play as time ran out.
“My girls didn’t give up and his girls didn’t give up,” West coach Henry Panzer said. “We hit some big shots at the end.”
Demeria Robinson scored 14 points for the Cavs and Tre Allen added 10.
North (11-9, 11-4) led 17-11 after a quarter and seemed to have an answer for every West run. Back-to-back baskets from Taylor Sells and Allen made it 27-18 and Washington’s layup pushed the lead to double digits at 31-20. West trimmed it to 37-30 at halftime. Washington hit consecutive 3s to start the half.
“It’s a back-and-forth game,” Panzer said. “We changed to man-to-man defense and kept playing hard.”
West (12-5, 13-2) slowly chipped away at the lead and got within 57-54 on a trey from Danasia Dumas at the end of the third. North’s Aliyah Farmer hit a jumper and got a layup off a steal to start the fourth and Robinson got an easy two in transition and NR was comfortable again up 63-54. West answered with a 8-0 run thanks in part to three straight turnovers from North.
An Amber Carter basket calmed the storm momentarily and North caught a break when Cuthrell fouled out.
West cut its deficit to a point on two free throws from Lindsey and missed a chance to take the lead with 40 seconds left when a shot traveled over the backboard. Washington hit one of two from the line to make it 70-68 with 36 seconds left. West let the ball go out of bounds a second later and fouled Robinson, who misfired on both FT.
Jasmine Diggs was fouled on the ensuing possession and hit one free throw to pull the Warriors within 70-69 with 12 seconds to play. After the ball went off West out of bounds with nine seconds, Lindsey made the game-winning steal and shot.
NORTH ROWAN (70) — Washington 24, Robinson 14, Allen 10, Farmer 7, Sells 6, Royer 5, Carter 4, Lingle.
WEST MONTGOMERY (71) — Cuthrell 26, Dumas 14, Covington 12, Lindsey 10, Burchettee 5, Waddell 3, Diggs 1, Morris, Steele, Johnson.
N. Rowan 17 20 20 12 — 70
W. Mont. 11 19 24 15 — 71
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