ST. MARYS — St. Marys used a strong performance in the middle quarters to overcome a slow start as it held off visiting Brookville in the closing minutes to secure a 46-44 win.
After trailing 13-2 to open the game and facing a 15-6 deficit after the first quarter, the Lady Dutch began to battle back in the second playing their final regular season game of the year.
St. Marys (17-5), which picked up its third win in a row with the narrow victory, quickly trimmed the visitors’ lead to one with an 8-0 run to open the second quarter.
Isabelle Caskey sparked the run by scoring four straight points, the first two coming at the foul line before adding a bucket on the inside.
The run was finished off by buckets form Britney Shaw and Kaylee Muccio to make it a 15-14 game with 3:52 left in the first half.
Lauren Hergert got the Lady Raiders on the board in the second quarter with a basket on the ensuing possession, as Marcy Schindler added a score on the next trip down the court to help the visitors maintain the lead throughout the first half.
Brookville (10-11) eventually took a 24-21 advantage into the half, as Shaw grabbed an offensive rebound and scored with 11 seconds left to make it a three-point game before the Lady Raiders committed their seventh turnover of the quarter on the final possession of the half.
Both teams began to heat up in the third quarter, as they combined to make five three-pointers in the third quarter, the difference being four were made by the home team.
St. Marys got treys from four different players in the frame, as Shaw, Kyla Johnson, Muccio and Allison Schlimm all connected from deep.
Muccio’s three came with 2:32 remaining in the third and gave the Lady Dutch their first lead of the night at 34-33 while also kicking off a 10-0 quarter-ending run.
Just over a minute later Schlimm added the home team’s fourth three-pointer of the frame before St. Marys added a pair of scores in the final 30 seconds of the quarter.
The first came on a basket on the inside by Muccio on a possession extended by an offensive rebound by Schlimm, while Johnson hit a jumper off of a Brookville turnover with five seconds remaining to send the Lady Dutch into the final quarter of play with a 40-34 lead.
Muccio finished with a team-high 12 points for St. Marys, while Shaw added eight and Schlimm and Caskey finished with six points apiece.
In the end, the Lady Raiders coughed the ball up 25 times, including 15 in the second half, while St. Marys committed 14 turnovers in the win.
“We had opportunities in the beginning (first half) but they just never went down, but we told the girls you’ve gotta just loosen up,” St. Marys head coach Leona Hoohuli said. “We told them to take what they give you and that third quarter was a big swing for us.”
After Schlimm opened the fourth-quarter scoring with another three-pointer, Brookville responded with a 10-2 run over the next six minutes and change to get back within a point (45-44) with 1:38 left to play.
Schindler and Hergert keyed the run with four points apiece, while Morgan Johnson added a score, as Schindler hit both ends of a one-and-one to cap the run with a little over a minute and a half remaining.
Schindler scored a game-high 15 points to go along with 12 rebounds for Brookville, while Morgan Johnson and Hergert also finished in double figures with 13 and 10 points respectively.
The free throws however proved to the the Lady Raiders’ final points of the night as the teams combined for just one point over the final 98 seconds of play, thanks in large part to free-throw shooting woes by St. Marys.
Brookville, which had just two fouls with 1:38 to play, was forced to foul down the stretch, finally picking up its seventh foul with 48.5 seconds remaining to send the Lady Dutch to the line.
Eckert then missed the front end of a one-and-one, but Muccio eventually came up with the loose ball, leading to Kyla Johnson drawing a foul, who was also unable to connect from the line as Brookville looked to take the lead late.
Instead, a turnover led to Shaw drawing a foul, but the senior became the third Lady Dutch player to see the front end of a one-and-one fall off the mark with 20.6 ticks to go.
With yet another chance to take the lead, Brookville committed its ninth turnover of the quarter and was forced to foul Eckert, which pushed St. Marys into the double bonus.
Eckert was able to convert the first foul shot, but saw her second attempt roll of the rim with 12.5 seconds to go, as the Lady Raiders had a chance to tie or go for the win.
The visitors elected to go for the latter, as Leah Kammerdeiner’s three-pointer from the corner came up short and clanged off the rim as time ran out as the teams looked to come up with the rebound.
“We were able to make shots and get some stops, then in the fourth quarter, those foul shots, that’s something that really hurt us there,” Hoohuli said.
The Lady Raiders scored the first seven points of the game as part of a 13-2 run to start the night before St. Marys slowly clawed its way back on the way to victory.
Brookville closes out its regular season Tuesday on the road against Bradford, while St. Marys will return to action in the District 9 playoffs.