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Warriors JV girls fall

MERRY HILL – Victory may have been inches away quite literally.

Saturday afternoon in the championship game of the Tarheel Independent Conference tournament, the Lady Warriors of Lawrence Academy came within inches of tying the game and sending it to overtime. Had they reached that overtime frame, head coach Jack Williford and assistant coach Grantley Mizelle felt good about their chances.

Unfortunately for Lawrence, those few inches kept them from overtime as they fell to Albemarle School 22-20.

“I’m tickled pink the girls didn’t give up,” Williford said. “We had a chance, but we couldn’t get it to fall.”

The Lady Warriors indeed didn’t give up. After falling behind by seven points (19-12) early in the fourth quarter, the game would have seemed over, but Lawrence didn’t quit.

Jennifer White scored with 3:01 to play and helped the Warriors start their comeback. A minute later, Ashton Lyle found the basket and then Casey Belch scored with 45 seconds to play to make it 20-18.

Laurie Cartwright gave Albemarle a 22-18 lead with 32 seconds to play, but Ashtyn Mizelle scored for Lawrence 13 seconds later to make it a two-point game again. After missed free throws, the Colts got the ball with 3.4 seconds to play.

Lawrence stole the inbounds pass and got off three shots, but the last one rimmed out as time expired.

Despite the setback, Williford was pleased with the progress of his team.

“We started slow, but we got it going at the end of the season,” he said, referring to a nine-game win streak that helped propel them to the finals and a 15-5 overall record.

“I’m proud of the girls for their effort,” he closed. “They left everything on the floor.”