Mount Gilead was able to overcome some good three-point shooting by Northmor, as well as an off night from the floor, to earn a 38-32 home girls’ basketball win over the Golden Knights on Saturday.
The Indians trailed 19-13 early in the third quarter, but were able to respond with an 11-point run to take a lead they would not relinquish in the game.
“They’ve been playing a lot better and we knew that,” said MG head coach Bob Scott. “I told the kids that sometimes you don’t play one of your best games and still win. To our credit, we hung in and hung in and got the lead and kept it.”
MG was down 16-13 at the half and watched their deficit increase to six when Paige Caudill opened the third quarter with a three-pointer. However, they would hold the Golden Knights scoreless until Emilee Jordan connected on one-of-two free throws with three seconds left in the period.
“We weren’t ready coming out after halftime,” said Northmor coach Freddy Beachy. “We’re not that good to have lulls in a game. We missed too many lay-ups and missed eight or nine foul shots. I told them we have to capitalize.”
Candace Millisor started the Indian comeback with a basket. On her team’s next possession, she tallied a free throw and Madilyn Elson then scored from the field. Holly Gompf added two points and Millisor then scored four straight to give their team a 24-19 lead.
After Jordan’s free throw, it was 24-20 going into the fourth. However, despite giving up three-pointers to Caudill and Lexi Wenger, the Indians were able to widen that lead to a seven-point margin. Millisor scored five points and both Gompf and Elson added baskets to make the score 33-26 with 4:28 left in the game.
Northmor was able to fight back within a one-possession margin, though. Reagan Swihart connected from the field and Wenger followed with a basket. After Elson scored for the Indians, Swihart responded with a bucket off an offensive rebound and it was 35-32 MG with just over a minute remaining.
Unfortunately for the Golden Knights, they would not be able to score again and MG was able to tally two points from Elson and one from Isabela Schroeter to preserve the win.
“When you’re not playing your best offense and not shooting the ball, defense will win it,” said Scott. “They played hard. They’ve been doing that all year. We’re 9-4 and that’s pretty good.”
For a good chunk of the early going, it didn’t look like MG would be picking up that ninth win. Wenger hit a three-pointer to open the game for Northmor. After the Indians battled back to take a 5-3 lead behind a basket by Gompf and three-pointer by Elson.
However, Northmor would regain the lead behind six points from Caudill and a bucket from Haley Dille. While the Indians got two points each from Kylie Irwin and Gompf, they still trailed 11-9 going into the second quarter.
Neither team could get much going offensively in the second, but Northmor led 16-13 going into the intermission and Caudill’s three stretched that advantage to six early in the third.
“We were just pressuring their outside shooters,” said Beachy of his team’s defense. “I think some of them get flustered when they’re not going. It worked until they brought their big girls in and we just couldn’t stop them. They’re all young and all these girls are coming back. We just have to get better.”
Both Caudill and Wenger hit three times from deep for Northmor, with Caudill scoring 12 and Wenger adding 11. The Indians got 12 by Millisor and 11 from Elson, while Gompf added eight.
“We’ve got to just play one game at a time,” said Scott of his team. “We went through the first half with a winning record and now we have to play the second half and have a winning record.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS