Out of a timeout with 3.7 seconds left in the game, Salem’s Danielle Voyles came free on the right wing and sank the game winning 3-pointer to give the visiting Salem Lions a 43-40 win over the host Braves Saturday afternoon at Borden.
After trailing for most of the second half, Kristen Nestor stole the ball with 49 seconds to play, streaked down the floor for a layup and drew a foul. She converted at the line to tie the game at 40.
The Class A No. 11 Braves wouldn’t get another shot and dropped their first game after an 8-0 start.
Salem played keep-away as the clock ticked, holding for a final shot. Salem coach Jerry Hickey called timeout with just under four seconds to go to draw up the play that would give the Lions the win.
“The game was tied with a half-minute to go in the game. It just so happens that their shot went in and they win. If it misses, we’re playing overtime and we might win,” Borden coach Terry Rademacher said. “We battled hard, competed hard, made a great comeback in the fourth quarter, had a real big 3-point play right there towards the end to tie it up. ... We tried to do what we could do, but we just lost.”
Both teams turned the ball over three times in the first three minutes and struggled to hang on the ball throughout the contest.
“We’ve struggled with turnovers all year. We’ve just been able to do other things to compensate for it, and today we didn’t do enough,” Rademacher said after the game.
Carson Casey scored all six of the Braves first-quarter points. She hit a turnaround shot on the right block off of an assist from Nestor, connected on both free throws after drawing a foul in the paint and hit a jumper from the right elbow. Salem had four players collect baskets in the opening period to take a 9-6 lead into the first break.
After Sarah Hurst found Abby Ellis under the hoop for an easy two, the Braves were down by two, but Sadie Soliday hit her second 3 for Salem to give them their biggest lead of the first half at 14-9. Rademacher immediately called for time with 5:50 to go in the half.
Ellis hit an 18-footer from the left baseline out of the time-out, but Salem’s Treasure Hurst answered with a layup from the right side to push the lead back to five, Salem leading 16-11.
Borden went on a 5-0 run to tie the game at 16 with 3:54 remaining in the half, collecting two free throws from Taylor Streander, one from Ellis and a wide open lay-up from Casey.
A baseline pull-up jumper from Ellis with fifty seconds remaining in the period ensured that the score would remain tied at the half, 22-22.
Hurst put the Lions on top 24-22 early in the third quarter with a turnaround jumper in the paint. Salem, which has won three straight after a 2-8 start, wouldn’t trail again. It stretched the lead to 36-29 on a half-court heave by Alex Davidson as the horn sounded to end the quarter.
The Braves fought their way back in the fourth, but they couldn’t force an extra period.
Casey led the Braves with 13 points. Ellis added nine and Streander scored eight in the loss. Hurst and Davidson scored 12 apiece to lead Salem.
SALEM 43, BORDEN 40
Salem 9 13 14 7—43
Borden 6 16 7 11—40
Borden scoring: Carson Casey 13, Abby Ellis 9, Taylor Streander 8, Sarah Hurst 5, Kristen Nestor 3, Riley Schindler 2.
Salem scoring: Treasure Hurst 12, Alex Davidson 12, Sadie Soliday 8, Danielle Voyles 7, Sidney Burger 2, Amber Kilburn 2.
3-point field goals: Salem 5 (Soliday 2, Davidson 2, Voyles).