Hot Pies grab thrilling win
Magpies confirmed their premiership favouritism with a gritty two-point win over Panthers in Tuesday night’s top-of-the-table clash in the Albany Basketball Association women’s A-grade competition.
Neither side gave an inch in the first half and the pair went into the break on level terms but it was an early period in the second half along with another classy performance from Nardia Humphries that guided Magpies towards the minor premiership.
With seven of her side’s 11 in the first half, Humphries found another gear in the second period as she kept coming up with answers to the defensive harassment Panthers applied under the eye of tactician David Arthur.
Magpies went on a 14-6 run in the first 13 minutes of the second half to blow the game apart as they eyed a fourth win over their close rivals this season.
But Arthur and his persistent Panthers were far from done, and chewed into the deficit on the back of their trademark defence.
Point guard Kayla Thomas was instrumental in the dying stages as twice she got Panthers within a basket of the now nervous Magpies, who were also over their team foul limit with more than five minutes to play.
Thomas hit two free throws in the final minute to make it a two-point game, and then an ambitious long pass to get out of the Panthers’ defensive trap with seconds ticking down was luckily spilled out of bounds by Magpies to ensure they hung on by the skin of their teeth.
Humphries hit a game-high 17 points, including 10 in the last period, while Jasmyne Jones (6 points) was also important in Magpies’ 32-30 triumph.
Thomas’ tenacity was again a highlight as she knocked down 9 points and was well supported by centre Nina Smith (8) but their side left their run too late.
Meanwhile, Raiders under-18 development squad trailed by a point at half-time but hit back in a thrilling contest to deny Flames their first win of the season.
Thomas finished with 12 points and was Raiders’ calming influence, while Ella Scamozzi and Madison Dallimore added 7 apiece in the nailbiting 42-41 win.
Caitlin Ward (8), Indianna Weeden (7) and Alyssa Ward (6) led the way for Flames in their ninth single-figure loss of the season.
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