The St. Anthony Lady Bulldogs used a go-ahead layup from Grace Karolewicz with 5.6 seconds remaining to edge the Lady Rams of Shelbyville Thursday 58-56.
“Offensively, I thought we executed well at the end,” said St. Anthony head coach Aaron Rios. “When the game mattered, we ran the play the way we wanted to run the play and got an easy layup out of it.
“We run that play from time to time. We knew they would try and double on Riley Guy and we also knew that if we down screened for [Fearday], they would try and double team that. It was great to see [Karolewicz] come out of the timeout and make the play happen.”
However, this was after the Lady Rams had clawed its way back from a 12-point third quarter deficit.
Riley Guy helped set the tone for the Lady Bulldogs early, scoring nine of her 13 in the opening quarter. Reese Jones and Guy each connected on three-pointers at the end of the first to help give the Lady Bulldogs a 16-9 lead.
In the second quarter, it was Lucy Fearday who stepped up her scoring, earning 10 of her 14 points. She displayed control in the post, utilizing her up-and-under move to go around her defenders on the block.
“She’s strong in the post. She’s a freshman,” Rios said. “I think we played her way too much. The difficulty we have, is we had the JV game, and she played half of that.”
It was in the third quarter when the Lady Rams started to close the gap. Trinity Wade scored on back-to-back layups and went on to score 13 of her game-high 29 points in the quarter.
Wade scored the next six of the Lady Rams’ points to help cut the deficit down to one before a layup from Carson Beyers just before the buzzer gave the Lady Rams its first lead since the first quarter at 43-42.
The Lady Rams scored four of the first five points in the fourth quarter to take a four-point lead.
In just her second game back from injury, Jones drilled a pair of 3-pointers to put her team back in front, followed by a steal and layup from Karolewicz to go up 51-47.
But with just over two minutes to go, the Lady Rams went on a 6-0 run with layups from Abigail Kaiser, Sophie Ogden and Beyers, respectively, to go up 56-53.
“We just have to focus and execute what we’re trying to do,” Rios said. “Defensively, the effort tonight wasn’t the level we would expect and we need to go back to the drawing board tomorrow and clean that up.”
With 1:10 to go, Isabelle Hakman scored on a putback to make it a one-point game.
With 55.9 seconds left, Karolewicz hit her first of two free throws to tie the game at 56, but missed the second. Riley Guy came up with a timely offensive rebound however, which allowed the Lady Bulldogs to hold for the last shot.
With 12.1 remaining, Rios called timeout to draw up what would be the game-winning layup for Karolewicz.
Jones led the Lady Bulldogs with 15 points, while Fearday scored 14, Guy 13 and Karolewicz eight. Cameran Rios, Anna Faber, Taylor Beesley and Hakman each scored two.
For the Lady Rams, Wade led all scorers with 29, while Ogden scored 14. Beyers scored five, Kaiser scored four, Mia Wade and Macy Owens each scored two.
The Lady Bulldogs improve to 6-10 on the season, while the Lady Rams drop to 10-10.