BY GREG FLINT
WEST LEBANON, Ind. —
Taylor Turchi hit a short jumper with 1.5 seconds left to give the visiting North Vermillion Falcons a 50-49 win over the Seeger Patriots.
Seeger had a one-point lead and the ball with 12.7 seconds left in the game. North Vermillion fouled as soon as they could to put the Patriots to the line for a one-and-one.
It was the second time that Seeger had a chance to extend their lead from the line, but once again, they missed a free throw with the rebound going to Darby Martin of the Falcons.
She threw the ball up the court to Turchi who faked a jumper just inside the three-point line then drove the baseline. Pulling up about a yard from the basket, she shot an uncontested jumper for the win.
“We hadn’t been shooting well all night,” said Turchi about passing up the long shot. “I was going to take it, but she bought the fake, so I went inside and made it.”
When the game started, it looked as if neither she nor a teammate would get a chance to shoot a game winner as Seeger started the game on an 8-0 run. North Vermillion finally got on the scoreboard at the 4:20 mark when Martin hit one of two free throws.
The Falcons went on to score the next four points as well, but the Patriots hit the final basket of the quarter to lead 10-5.
A jumper by Martin and a runner by Mikayla Kinneer pulled North Vermillion within one at 10-9, but Seeger answered with a 7-0 run, capped off by a trey by Miranda Synesael to make it 17-9.
The Falcons countered with treys by Turchi and Martin to cut the deficit to four, but Kiley Swisher and Kirsten Irvine combined to put Seeger up 23-17 at intermission.
“We got some open looks all night,” said Falcon head coach Terry Naylor, “but we missed easy shots. We made some adjustments at halftime and eventually got a few that were easier still.”
The two teams opened the second half by trading free throws with Seeger only able to extend their lead by a single point in the first two minutes.
Turchi started a run for North Vermillion with a trey then Kinneer stole an inbounds pass for a lay-up to pull within two and force a Seeger time out.
The break seemed to help the Patriots as they regained the momentum, reopening their lead to six at 32-26 midway through the quarter.
“We tried to be more aggressive in the second half,” said Turchi, “And I think that got us back into the game.”
It sent the Falcons on a 10-0 run to close out the quarter as the visitors went from six down to up four at 36-32 going into the final period.
Seeger became the aggressor as the fourth quarter started with Irvine and Synesael hitting lay-ups and Shelby Brown converting a three-point play to put her team up 39-36.
North Vermillion responded with a run of their own to go up by two at 42-40 then the teams traded baskets with both teams missing free throws down the stretch that might have put the game away.
Swisher hit a jumper with 52 seconds to put Seeger up two. She added a free throw to make it 49-46 with 22 seconds left.
Kinsey West made a lay-up at the 12.7-second mark for the Falcons to make it 49-48. That set things up for the final missed Patriot free throw and the subsequent basket by Turchi.
“I don’t know how we won this game,” said Naylor. “They killed us on the boards. You’ve got to give them credit for that. However, when they missed at the end, we got the rebound and made the big play.”
He concluded by saying, “We’ve got to do something different in practice. We gave up too many rebounds and missed too many open shots, but still it’s a win.”