BY HAILEY MALLENDICK — MIRROR SPORTS — Anthony Wayne girls basketball edged out a Northern Lakes League victory over Defiance on December 18 and then lost to Napoleon two days later.
AW 45, Defiance 43
The game was a hard-fought battle to the end by both teams as the score was consistently close.
Sophomore Kelsey Ragan (five rebounds, three steals) and senior Peyton Wallace (assist, rebound, steal) were the top scorers for AW with 10 and nine points, respectively.
Junior Sam Schofield (two assists, three rebounds) also managed to score five points.
The Generals started the first quarter off on a high note with Ragan and Wallace each hitting 3-pointers, while junior Carlee Smiddy dominated scoring for the Bulldogs with two baskets.
Anthony Wayne led 11-6 at the end of the first quarter and maintained the lead for the rest of the half.
Wallace made two more treys in the second quarter and Ragan also made one to help expand the lead.
Defiance didn’t let the Generals get too far ahead, though, as junior Tammy Aguilera was trying to match AW shot for shot by making three buckets.
The second quarter ended with Anthony Wayne leading 22-17 and the third played out much the same way, with the Generals hanging on to a small lead and the Bulldogs trying to catch them.
The fourth quarter, however, is where the entire dynamic of the game shifted.
Defiance managed to take the lead at the beginning of the fourth, primarily due to baskets by Smiddy, Aguilera and freshman Olivia Moats.
Frequent fouls on the Generals also helped the Bulldogs out, as they added points on free throws.
With less than a minute left in the game, AW was down four points and desperately looking to score.
Senior Olivia Womack came through with a three, bringing the score to 43-42 in favor of Defiance.
The suspense came down to the last 7.7 seconds, when AW coach Jami Carter called a timeout to draw up the last play of the night for the Generals.
“We were trying to get the ball down the court and make a basket,” Carter said.
Schofield got the ball and – with only a second left on the clock – chucked it from well beyond the arc and hit nothing but net.
“The original plan was for (Womack) to get the ball, but (Schofield) did what she does best and took control to finish the game with an awesome shot,” Carter said.
The incredible shot gave Anthony Wayne a two-point win.
Napoleon 54, AW 37
The Generals traveled to Napoleon’s home court, where senior Cailey Miller paced the AW scoring with 14 points and Schofield was right behind her with eight.
Schofield and Ragan began the game for Anthony Wayne with one basket each, while Womack and Miller finished off the scoring with two baskets apiece.
The Wildcats got baskets from Alize Lankenay, Taylor Strock and Caely Ressler (two).
AW managed to take an 11-8 lead going into the second quarter, but things soon changed with Napoleon beginning to dominate.
The Wildcats had an impressive 21-point quarter with four treys – two by Shae Pedroza and one each from Ressler and Aubrey Shrover.
The Generals, on the other hand, scored only four points, from Ragan and Miller.
Going into the second half with a cushy 29-16 lead, Napoleon was determined to keep scoring.
Pedroza made two more 3-pointers in the third and Ressler had one, which helped the Wildcats total 19 points.
Anthony Wayne got nine points from baskets by Wallace, Miller and junior Hannah Rybicki.
While Napoleon dominated the second and third quarters, the scoring slowed in the fourth quarter and gave the Generals a chance to make up some ground.
Three baskets each from Schofield and Miller helped to bridge the gap, but despite their effort, Napoleon won the game by 17 points.
After splitting last week’s games, Anthony Wayne is 3-6 overall and 2-4 in the Northern Lakes League. The next Generals action will be at home against Whitmer on Friday.