Donegal escapes with OT win over the Lady Barons

By on December 20, 2017

Manheim Central sophomore guard Laura Good (center) takes the ball inside against Donegal in Monday’s game. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Laura Good appeared to have a clear path to the basket as time was ticking below five seconds left in regulation in Monday night’s game.

With the score tied 55-all against Donegal, Manheim Central’s sophomore guard had a golden opportunity to clinch the win for the Lady Barons.

But with just :2.8 to go on the clock, an official’s inadvertent whistle stopped the play.

He mistakenly thought that Good had stepped on the base line, confusing it with another line on the floor of Manheim Central’s court.

On the inbounds play, the Lady Barons came up empty and the game went to OT.

“We have to play through that,” MC coach Amanda Burns said. “That’s the bottom line. The refs are going to make mistakes, they’re human, and we have to play through.”

In the OT, Carly Diffenderfer scored five points, helping Donegal go on a 9-4 run and pull off a 64-59 victory in a Section Two game in Manheim.

“We let ref’s calls influence our game,” Burns said. “We have to face adversity and get through that. Stay united and stay together as a team.”

Lady Indian sophomore Kiera Baughman led all scorers with 30 points and Diffenderfer chipped in with 14 points in the win.

Despite the Lady Barons falling to 0-2 L-L (1-4 overall), Monday marked the second straight game that they fell in overtime.

“We’re fired up and they’re going to come to practice tomorrow, they’re going to work hard, be intense and then they’re going to take it out and play the next game just as intense,” Burns said. “This isn’t going to get in the way of what we’re doing. The puzzle is going to come together for us, and once it’s together, it’s going to be good.”

Good was, well, good for the Lady Barons, scoring five of her team-high 14 points in the first quarter, when MC took a 15-12 lead, and holding Baughman to just eight in the opening half.

“(Laura) does good defensively,” Burns said. “She’s long, she’s aggressive, she’s intense, she doesn’t get tired, so we use her in many different areas. She listens well and she did exactly what we wanted her to do tonight.”

The Manheim Central girls solved Donegal’s press to go up by as many as five, 25-20, with 3:10 left in the half on a layup by Serena Conde and Brooke Breinich’s free throw. Breinich finished with 13.

But with Donegal trailing 28-24 at the break, Baughman buried her first three shots in the third — back-to-back layups and a ‘three’ — to give the Lady Indians the lead 31-28.

Then after Conde picked up her fourth foul and went to the bench with 6:08 to go in the quarter, MC stepped up and went 17-8 run. Hannah Barbush, playing basketball for the first time since eighth grade, scored six points in that stretch, including a fastbreak layup on assist from Good. Then Breinich hit two free throws to put the Lady Barons up 45-39 with :54.3 left in the quarter.

“(Hannah) definitely brings all the intangibles — the hustle, the aggressiveness, she listens well, she’s coachable. So that’s what we’re looking for from her,” Burns said. “She provides that spark. We’re excited to have her part of our team this year.”

The Lady Barons still led 45-43 after three and 50-44 when Elli Weaver made one of two foul shots with 3:34 remaining. But Baughman’s ‘three’ cut Donegal’s deficit to 51-50 with 2:12 left and her floater brought the Lady Indians within 53-52 with 1:34 to go. In all, Baughman scored 19 of her 30 points in the second half.

“She can take control of the game if she wants to,” Burns said. “She’s an impressive player and we have to be ready for her to drive and shoot the ‘three,’ so she’s a very versatile player.”

Lily Doerschuk made one of two foul shots on MC’s next possession, and then Weaver sank one of two with :21.4 left, making it 55-53. Overall, the Lady Barons were 8-of-16 at the line in the fourth and 16-of-31 for the game.

“It’s been consistent the last few games with missing foul shots,” Burns said. “We have to work on it. That’s how we’re going to close out games and not have to fight another overtime.”

With Conde fouling out with 4:20 remaining, MC lost one of their top rebounders, and a putback by Donegal’s Madeline Gohn with :41 left pulled the Lady Indians into a 55-55 tie, and that set up the unfortunate finish for the Lady Barons.

Asked what the message was to her players following the tough loss, Burns said, “Stay mentally in the game facing adversity. We’re telling them, ‘Enjoy the moments. Don’t let it get to you. Play through and stay true to what you know.’ We have to get through that.”

*****

Last Saturday, Daniel Boone outscored Manheim Central 11-1 in OT and went to to earn a 56-46 non-league win in Birdsboro.

Madison Spitko scored a game-high 18 points to lead four players in double figures for the Lady Blazers, who finished 13-of-27 at the foul line. Sydney Hayes chipped in with 13 points, while Kaylie Walker and Courtney Gabbett added 12 and 10, respectively.

Manheim Central carried a one-point lead into the fourth, 33-32, only to see Boone tie it at the end of regulation, 45-all to send the game to overtime.

Brooke Breinich scored a team-high 17 points for the Lady Barons, who went 6-of-20 at the foul line. Serena Conde added 14 points in the loss.

*****

In non-league action last Tuesday, Dec. 12 in Myerstown, Manheim Central fell to ELCO 38-29. The Lady Raiders took a 16-7 lead at the half and then held on.

MC’s Laura Good and ELCO’s Jalissa Nolt shared game-high honors with nine points apiece.

 

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