Things were not looking good for the King Philip girls’ basketball team against .
Down by 12 after the first quarter and 10 at halftime, the Black Knights were having their way with the Warriors. Yet with 2:18 left to play in the game, there were the Warriors, clinging on to a one-point lead.
“We played very undisciplined. Very uncharacteristic of us to just give it away,” Stoughton head coach Janet Sullivan of the lost lead.
But, playing to the end, the Black Knights got the lead back and snuck away with a 38-36 victory Monday on the road.
With the win, Stoughton improves to 3-3, while KP falls to 2-5.
Playing under the basket was near-impossible for the Warriors with Nicole Daniels occupying the low post for the Black Knights. The junior center was a force in preventing shots in and around the paint, forcing the Warriors to shoot mid-range and outside jumpers. Daniels finished the night with eight points and 18 rebounds.
After Chrystal Holland scored 12 points in the first half, the Warriors shut down the Stoughton forward and did not allow her to score for the rest of the game. KP also made life uneasy for Daniels who was forced to dish the ball away from the basket multiple times during the second half.
“We brought a lot of defensive attention to them,” KP head coach Megan Barry said. “We understand their game and how to shut them down.”
With Holland fouling out of the game late in the fourth period and in foul trouble in general, the Black Knights were forced to play softer defensively to avoid picking up additional fouls.
“We had to drop back and play more passive defense. That gave them outside shots and to their credit they hit them,” Sullivan said.
Katie Brennan and Erin Fennessy were able to take advantage of the Black Knights defensive worries by assisting in an 8-0 run to cut the lead from nine to one. A pair of free throws with a little over two minutes to play from Fennessy gave KP a 36-35 lead and extended the run to 10-0, but Stoughton wasn’t done yet.
With 23 seconds left in the game, Emma Zuk gave the Black Knights the lead back with a three pointer. Emily Richards had a chance to win the game for the Warriors with under 10 seconds to play but couldn’t get the ball in the net.
The Warriors got the ball back with 2.2 seconds after Jackie Kuhn couldn't convert from the free throw line. With Daniels on the inbounds pass, it was near impossible to get past the tallest player on the court as a simple deflection by Daniels ended the game for the Warriors.
“When we needed to we pulled it together in the end,” said Sullivan.
Emily Richards led the Warriors with eight points. Both Brennan and Alicia Cuco helped contribute seven points each. In addition to Daniels', and Holland’s performances, Katherine Chlus chipped in six points for the Black Knights.
Neither the Black Knights or Warriors will have much time to dwell on this one. The Black Knights travel to Mansfield on January 10 and the Warriors will host Sharon on the same day.