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Lady Patriots perfect in region play with 35-34 win

Sports Editor

They fought, they clawed and they battled.

The Pike Liberal Arts School Lady Patriots overcame a poor shooting performance to down the Lee-Scott Lady Warriors on Thursday night, 35-34.

"We couldn’t hit anything," said head coach Robert Hawkins. "But they (the players) just keep finding ways to win. Beth (Anderson) and Lindy (Lunkenheimer) really stepped up for us tonight. But they’re seniors and that’s what you expect them to do."

The Lady Warriors were up 24-20 after the third quarter, but Anderson cut that lead in half in the fourth, taking a long pass from Danielle Johnson to the goal for the two-points.

Lunkenheimer then came alive to knock down only the second three-pointer of the night for Pike Lib – a baseline shot – which started a 6-0 Lady Patriots run to tie the game. Anderson then turned a steal at halfcourt into a basket and was intentionally fouled on the play also. She hit one free throw to tie the game at 26-26.

The Lady Patriots took their first lead of the second half, 30-29, on Lunkenheimer’s underhand layup with three minutes left in the game.

"I thought Lindy, really, when we had to have some points she got them for us. She hit that big three-pointer and then gave us the lead on that drive," said Hawkins. "She’s got a nice shot. We were kind of living off the three-pointer early, but the last two games we almost died by it."

But the final two minutes belonged to anybody.

Sydnee Washington answered for Lee-Scott, but Lunkenheimer was there on a fadeaway jumper for Pike Lib with 1:24 remaining. A Brantley Kries rebound led to a trip to the foul line for Lunkenheimer, who sank two free throws and gave her team a 34-31 lead.

Lee-Scott managed two points off foul shots and after Anderson missed a free throw for PLAS, Washington was at the line for the Lady Warriors with a chance to tie the ball game.

She missed the front end of a one-and-one but Ashley Beechley was there to collect the ball with 10 seconds left. She, also, was fouled, but could convert only one foul shot at the line for Lee-Scott.

The Lady Warriors had one last shot to possibly win the ball game but time expired as Beechley dribbled the ball down the court.

The Lady Warriors led by five after the first quarter, 14-9. Johnson started a run with a basket for PLAS and Lunkenheimer nailed her first three of the ball game. Brantley Kries turned an offensive board into points, giving the Lady Patriots a 16-14 advantage.

Beechley and Washington hit consecutive baskets for Lee-Scott, allowing the Lady Warriors to a take an 18-16 edge into the locker room.

Lunkenheimer had just three points in the first half, but came on to finish with 14. Anderson also had 14 points for the Lady Patriots.

Pike Liberal Arts improves to 11-4 on the season and 3-0 in region play. The Lady Patriots are next in action on the road at Dixie Academy, Jan. 15.