Lady Tigers Edge Out Lady Rams, As Archer Knocks Off Newton 52-51 For Top Spot In 7A Region 8
On Friday, Newton Lady Rams (19-4) hosted the Archer Lady Tigers (19-4) in a match-up that would give the winner sole possession of first place in 7A Region 8. The Lady Rams would find themselves up 3-0 after #23 Jr. Jurnee Smith came up with the steal and layup but Archer’s #22 Jr. Asia McCoy would answer back with a layup of her own to make it a 3-2 game with 5:22 to go in the opening quarter. After Archer’s #24 Sr. Autumn Newby drew a shooting foul Archer would take a 4-3 lead. Another Newton turnover would lead to Archer’s #3 Jr. Hannah Dunston would connecting on a three point basket to give the Lady Tigers a 7-3 lead with just under five minutes to go in the first. The Lady Rams would tie the game 7-7 with 2:47 to go after #0 Jr. Takiya Cotton’s drive to the basket for a 2-point basket.
Both teams would exchange baskets over the next couple of minutes but it would be the Lady Tigers that would regain the lead and end the first quarter up 12-11. As the second quarter got underway, Archer would score first taking a 17-11 lead after #24 hit a layup in the post and a 3-point basket but back to back basket by Newton’s #3 Jr. Lexii Chatman and Smith would make it a one point game as Archer led 17-16 with 5:11 to go in the second quarter. At the 4:05 mark, Newton’s Smith would draw a shooting foul putting them in the bonus as Smith connected on the front end of a 1 and 1 to tie the game 17-17. The game would remain close down the stretch of the first half as both teams began to get hot but Archer’s #33 Sr. Linsey Marchese would draw a shooting foul with :16 remaining in the half and would hit both free throws allowing the Lady Tigers to take a 29-26 lead into the half.
In the second half, Newton would score 5 unanswered points to take a 31-29 lead with just one minute ticked off the clock. Archer would get their first points of the half after Marchese drew a shooting foul and connect on the front end of the two shot foul to make it a 32-30 Lady Rams lead. After taking a 35-31 lead both offenses would go cold until Newton’s Cotton would draw a foul on a fast break layup making the basket but missing the free throw to make it a 37-31 game with 1:20 to go in the third quarter. Archer would manage to get a little more offensive production but it would not be enough as Newton ended the period with a 40-36 lead. As the final period got underway, Archer would go on a 6-0 run to take a 42-40 lead over Newton forcing the Lady Rams to take a timeout with 7:02 to go in the game.
Out of the timeout Newton would go on a 5-2 run to regain the lead going up 45-44 with 3:35 to go. As play continued, Archer would once again regain the lead after Newby knocked down a 3-point basket making it a 50-47 Archer lead but Newton’s #3 would answer right back with a put back lay up to make it a 50-49 Archer lead with 1:05 remaining in the game. Archer would then take a 51-49 lead with :46 to go after Marchese connected on the front end of a 1 and 1 pushing foul, however Newton would make two foul shots of their own to tie the game at 51-51 as Archer would take a timeout. Out of the timeout the Lady Tigers would have two opportunities to take the lead but would turn the ball over to the Lady Rams with :23.3 remaining in regulation. On the ensuing possession the Lady Rams would turn the ball back over to Archer as McCoy would get sent to the foul line with :04 to go. Missing the first but making the second Archer would take a 52-51 lead and would go on to win by that final score as Newton’s final shot for the win was no good. The win awarded the Lady Tigers sole possession of first place in 7A Region 8.