West Holmes Girls Basketball

3 straight: Lady Knights come up with 2 huge defensive stands to defeat Arrows 50-48

Paige Race helps Lady Knights pull off a 3rd straight win

West Holmes Lady Knights girls head basketball coach Lindsy Snyder thought it was going to take her team one solid defensive stand to fend off the Ashland Arrows in an Ohio Cardinal Conference showdown in The Dungeon. Instead, her team gave her two.

Following a nip-and-tuck game that saw neither team lead by more than five points and featured numerous tiers and lead changes, the Lady Knights left with a scintillating 50-48 win that was exciting to the final horn, and it took not one but two defensive stands for West Holmes to earn its fifth win of the year and second over the Arrows.

Leaving the locker room and walking down the hall, freshman Paige Race said to Snyder, “I love that kind of game.”

Snyder simply responded, “Yeah, but winning by five or 10 would be nice too.”

That just was not going to happen in a game that featured dozens of fouls and a topsy-turvy night of gut-wrenching action.

West Holmes built its biggest lead of five points in the game’s first two scores when Kaylor Perone drained a 3-pointer and Paige Race was the recipient of an easy score off of Maddie Woods’ steal.

That was the end of easy street for the Lady Knights as the two teams then spent the rest of the night banging away on each other, both figuratively and literally with each team racking up 20 team fouls on the night.

Ashland’s Alyssa Steary helped the Arrows pull even at 8 apiece, and she then gave her team a 10-8 edge before Kaylin Martin’s and-one gave the lead back to West Holmes.

Regan Wilcox hit a triple, and Alicia Alexander made a spectacular leaping save of a ball going out of bounds. Her strike found Wilcox in the lane, allowing Wilcox to lay it in for a 16-14 second-quarter advantage. Kourtney Burke drove home a trey to put the Arrows back up, and after an Arrows’ free throw, Alexander sent the two teams into the half deadlocked at 18 when she scored on a nice put-back.

Ashland built its largest lead of the game at four to begin the second half, getting scores from Samantha Webb and Tyleh Cline, but West Holmes roared right back with scores from Perone and Wilcox, allowing the Lady Knights to regain the lead. The West Holmes lead eventually grew to 29-26 when Perone hit Taylor Miller with a gorgeous assist and Wilcox scored off a steal.

But in this contest good times never lasted, and the Arrows scored six straight to go on top 32-29. Another key play came when Charlotte Brown duplicated Alexander’s leaping effort, her dive out of bounds to save a ball finding Perone, who completed the stunning play with an and-one. When Race canned two free throws to end the third period, the two teams were again deadlocked, this time at 34.

To no one’s surprise, the fourth period was an encore of the first three quarters. West Holmes would take the lead, only to see Ashland retake it. When Race hit a long triple and Perone dropped a pair of free throws, the lead teetered back in favor of the Lady Knights at 43-40.

That was when Kylie Radebaugh came to life. The high-scoring senior, who was averaging 19.2 points per contest coming into the game, had two points going into the fourth quarter. However, she started heating up and pushed the Arrows back to a 46-44 lead with just under three minutes to play. Back came Race, who seems to thrive in the fourth quarter, and the freshman nailed a crucial 3-pointer to put West Holmes on top 47-46 with 2:33 to play.

Radebaugh connected on two free throws with just over one minute to play to give the Arrows the lead at 48-47, and the two teams traded turnovers. The Lady Knights then missed a chance to regain the lead when Race’s three missed the mark and Perone’s put-back attempt would fall.

Ashland then turned the ball over again, and this time West Holmes didn’t falter when Perone found a cutting Woods who laid it in for a one-point lead with 27 seconds to play.

That was when Snyder implored her team to step up and make one big stop. They did, and with 24 seconds to play, they had the ball … and quickly gave it right back to Ashland when Martin traveled. With 12 seconds left, Ashland ran a play for Radebaugh at the top of the key, but her shot came up short and sailed out of bounds with 3.8 ticks remaining. West Holmes inbounded the ball to Martin, who was fouled with 0.2 seconds left. She hit one free throw, but it mattered little as Ashland had no chance of going the entire length of the floor in 0.2 seconds.

West Holmes had hung on for a 50-48 victory.

“We don’t win that game a few weeks ago,” Snyder said. “Everybody did their job tonight, whether they played 30 minutes or four minutes. We have kids that can play. We might be still figuring some things out, but we have kids who can play and defend. I looked out on the floor with 12 seconds left to play, and we had five kids out there who can defend. We needed one stop and one box-out, and we got it, and then unfortunately we needed another one, but we got that too.”

Snyder said the growth she sees in her team over the past several games that includes what is now a three-game win streak has been exciting to witness. She added that while her team has always given maximum effort, they are finally starting to see positive results.

“We were stagnant early in the season, but we are starting to play up to our abilities now,” Snyder said. “Sure, there is room to grow, but we continue to grow, and tonight we took another step forward. We can put ourselves in a position to be successful, and the girls did that tonight.”

Wilcox led the way in scoring with 14 while Perone added 10 points and five assists. Race added 10 points, Woods scored five, and Miller and Martin both tacked on four points. Miller led the effort on the glass with four boards.

But perhaps more importantly, the Lady Knights held Radebaugh to just 10 points with Woods leading the charge in defending the high-scoring threat.

That was part of the winning kind of effort Snyder is seeing from her team as of late, and she hopes that it carries through over the final three regular season games and into the tournament.

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