The top two Middle School Girls Basketball teams met on Sept. 21 for the second time this season when the Stuart Pepper Middle School Ladywaves hosted the Elizabethtown Panthers. Elizabethtown, having a loss to SPMS earlier in the season, and with SPMS still sporting an undefeated record, came into the game looking to even the score. In the last game it came down to a last second shot to tie the game. This game would prove to be just as close with Elizabethtown coming out on top 43-45 to hand SPMS their first loss.
“The girls fought hard until the very end”, head coach Leah Hackert said of the team’s effort. “Definitely wasn’t the outcome we wanted, but it was a great game to look at what we need to work on”.
SPMS got off to a slow start in the beginning, allowing Elizabethtown to jump out to a seven-point lead, but in the blink of the eye SPMS scored eight quick points in a matter of 30 seconds to take the lead. This had Elizabethtown confused, and forced their coach to call a timeout. After the timeout, SPMS continued to widen their lead.
SPMS trailed by only two points by the end of the first, but came back to take the lead by eight at the half, mostly in part from the scoring provided by Addie Stull. Stull dropped in 13-points in the first half but would struggle scoring in the second half when Elizabethtown double and triple teamed her.
Even with Stull being shut down, SPMS maintained a six-point lead at the end of the third due to their hard defensive play, but that hard physical play would come back to bite them in the fourth.
In the fourth, after SPMS lost two players from fouling out, Elizabethtown began to close the gap on SPMS with fast breaks and layups. With just 1:43 left on the clock, Elizabethtown finally tied the game at 43-43, and took the lead with 50-seconds left in the game. SPMS had two chances to tie the game, and on one chance the ball went in the hoop but made two trips around the rim and came out. Then in a last second effort Stull put up a shot that bounced off the front of the rim as time ran out.
“Addie had a great look at the end, it just didn’t fall for us”. Elizabethtown is a great team, and we will see them again in the tourney. That’s what we are working towards”, King said about the loss.