The Lady Raiders got all they wanted from Circleville Saturday to finish their time in Teays Valley. The Raiders escaped with a 44-43 victory.
To say the Raiders started on the wrong foot would be an understatement. The first quarter came and went, and the Raiders were still looking for their first points from the floor. Their only 3 points of the frame came from the foul line. It was clear this game would be won by defensive effort, which despite the offensive struggles only allowed 12 first quarter points.
As the second quarter started the Raiders desperately needed to see a shot fall. Senior Sam Patrone stepped up with a three-pointer to give the Raiders their first field goal of the game still trailing 12-6. After that shot fell the offense began to find a good enough rhythm to get back in the game. Trailing 16-11 Bri Modic hit a three and Izzy Lamparty hit a jump shot. Just like that the 12-3 deficit was a 16-16 tie. The Raiders took their first lead of the game off another Bri Modic three making it 21-18 that would end up being the score at the break.
Although the Raiders stormed back to take the lead in the 2nd quarter they couldn’t seem to find enough offense to separate themselves in the second half. The zone of the Circleville Tigers was having a noticeable effect on the Raider offense. Their defense, however, helped them hold on to a 33-28 lead after 3.
The Tigers would not go away in the fourth and final frame. They managed to tie the game for the first time in the 2nd half with 5:00 to go at 36-36. Time kept ticking away and with a little over 3 minutes left the game was still tied 38-38, each team struggling to capitalize on defensive stops. The Tigers took a 40-38 lead with under 3 minutes to go. Senior Maddie Durkin took the ball to the hoop and quickly tied the game back up at 40-40, and she was fouled. Unable to complete the old-fashioned three-point play, Dani Vuletich cleaned up the offensive rebound and got a bucket to put the Raiders back on top 42-40. The next Tiger possession Sam Patrone came up huge with a steal and a fast break layup to make it 44-40. The Tigers resilient as ever would find a way to make it 44-43 with 38.9 seconds remaining. After an empty Raider possession, the Tigers got the ball back with 8 seconds to work with. Everyone in the gym was ready to eagerly watch a final shot go up in the air, everyone except Bree Kohler that is. Before the Tigers could get off a last-second attempt, Kohler snatched the ball away for her 5th steal of the game and 11th of the weekend, ran the other way, expiring the clock and the hopes of Circleville. The Raiders held on to win 44-43
Dani Vuletich led the Raiders offensively with 12 points while Maddie Durkin was also in double figures with 10. Durkin also led the team in assists with 5. The Lady Raiders have 9 days off before they return home to host Mooney on January 8th.