Victory was oh so close.
Up four points on Riverside, the Lady Rams basketball team watched one of its visitors miss the first of two late free throws.
The brick assured Pleasant Ridge a three-point lead heading into the final minute of play, and with the way PR had been playing defense, the win seemed within its grasp.
Yet despite being on victory’s doorstep, the game slipped away from the Lady Rams over the next 60 seconds.
After missing the first freebie, the Riverside shooter clanked the second. However, the Cyclones were able to wrestle away the rebound and put back the errant try for two points.
Next, Pleasant Ridge came down and threw the ball away. The visitors followed that with a lay-up to tie the game. Ridge missed a shot on its next possession and the Cyclones capitalized again, sinking two free throws to complete the rally.
The teams traded baskets over the next 20 seconds and after another missed Riverside free throw, the Lady Rams had one final chance at the equalizer. In spite of that, needing three points to tie, the home team came away with a lay-up instead and lost 44-43.
“We didn’t take care of the ball down the stretch,” PR coach Mike Koontz said. “We got rattled and we didn’t handle it well. Combine that with some early missed free throws and we just let it get away.”
The game was tight throughout. Following an explosive first quarter that saw Riverside take a 18-16 lead, the two teams buckled down for a defensive battle.
At half, the score sat at 24-21 Riverside and then after three quarters, 30-30. In the fourth, Ridge grabbed an early lead, but couldn’t put distance between itself and its visitors.
Over the final two minutes, the home team muscled its way to a four-point advantage and seemed on the path to a perfect 4-0 start to the season.
Yet, the Cyclones never relented and that perseverance, along with some ill-timed Ridge turnovers, gave Riverside the result.
“I thought we did a good job handling their full-court pressure until the end,” Koontz said. “No one is going to be perfect so I was happy with how we did against their defense, we just didn’t finish.”
Ashten Langley finished with 20 points for the home team while Beth Doty added eight and Jordan Adams pitched in five.
PR, 3-1, will travel to West Platte Thursday for a 6 p.m. game.
Lady Raiders fight, but fall
Facing a much taller Doniphan West squad, the Immacualata girls’ basketball did little to shrink away.
Page 2 of 2 - In fact, the Lady Raiders went toe-to-toe with its bigger visitors and found itself in a dog fight heading into the fourth quarter Friday.
However, down five points, Imac could not keep up with the Mustangs and eventually lost 43-35.
“We were attacking them the first half and it was working,” Lady Raiders coach Terry Jordan said, “but then we got away from that, began going east and west offensively instead of at the basket and struggled.”
Imac jumped out to a 10-6 edge after the first quarter and trailed 18-17 at half. The third quarter saw that deficit enlarge to 33-28, but the window of opportunity was still open for the home team.
Turnovers ruined that thought though, as mental mishaps began to mount. Add in all the rebounds Doniphan was snatching up and the end result was an eight-point Immaculata loss.
“We had 24 turnovers and just five offensive rebounds,” Jordan said. “You can do that and win. I will say this though, we never stop fighting. The effort in this group is amazing and we went with them until the very end.”
Ellie Wolk led the Lady Raiders with 13 points, followed by Lainey Bell’s 10 and Grace Parker’s six.
Immaculata, 2-2, will play at Maranatha Thursday at 6 p.m.
“If we play this hard every night,” Jordan said, “we will win a lot of games.”
Lansing sputters at Bonner
Following up its first win of the season, the Lansing girls’ basketball team’s encore wasn’t as pretty.
In an contest that was snake-bitten from the outset for the Lady Lions, Lansing lost 63-32 to host Bonner Springs Friday.
“We just struggled right off the bat,” Lady Lions coach Christine Robinson said. “It was 8-0 90 seconds in and it killed our will. We have to develop the strength to battle back from that, and we will.”
After the poor beginning, Lansing faced an uphill battle that it never could conquer. At half, the squad trailed 37-17 and did little to chip away at that in the third or fourth periods.
Madelyn Moya had a team high 12 points. Jasmine Meyer contributed eight and Mikayla Zielenski had six.
“They started off real well and we simply had too much trouble overcoming our own bad start,” Robinson said.
Lansing, 1-5, will host Mill Valley at 6 p.m. Tuesday.