UNION CITY – The Mississinawa varsity girls basketball team defeated the Bradford Lady Railroaders 42-35 on the Hawks’ home court Saturday afternoon in Union City.
“We get better each day with our free throw shooting. It’s helping us at the end of these games,” Mississinawa Valley girls varsity basketball coach Todd Murphy said. “Rebounding has been good, too. Hopefully we can keep it rolling.”
Mackenzie Dirmeyer got the scoring underway, giving the Hawks a 2-0 lead.
A Brooke Dunlevy basket and free throw on a Hawks foul then gave Bradford an early 3-2 lead.
A low-scoring first quarter had the game tied at 6-6. Maddie Murphy hit a trey to close out the first quarter and a 9-6 Mississinawa Valley lead.
Murphy connected on two free throws to start second quarter scoring and a 10-6 Blackhawks lead. Dunlevy answered with a 3-pointer to go along with a Gabby Fair free throw to even the score at 10-10.
Two free throws from Mississinawa’s Nicole Scholl and a Hope Neargarder bucket put the Hawks back on top, 14-10.
Haley Patty hit a free throw for the Railroaders for a 14-11 score.
Mississinawa reeled off six-unanswered points on a basket by Brooke Collins and back-to-back buckets from Murphy and a Hawks 20-11 lead.
With 0:08 on the clock, Fair hit a bucket for the Railroaders, sending the teams to the halftime break with the Lady Hawks leading 20-13.
Mississinawa scored first in the second half with Neargarder putting a rebound back for a bucket and nine-point Hawks 22-13 lead.
Bradford went on a 9-0 run with five points coming from Fair and two each from Michayla Barga and Dunlevy for a tie at 2:07.
The Blackhawks took the lead back, scoring five unanswered points, three from Dirmeyer and rebound put-back from Scholl.
At 0:29 Dunlevy was fouled making good on the basket and free throw to cut the Hawks’ lead to 27-25 heading into the final period.
Bradford tied the score at 27-27 on a steel and Dunlevy layup. Barga hit back-to-back free throws at 5:56 giving the Railroaders a 29-27 lead.
A Brooke Brower basket extended Bradford’s lead to 31-27.
Mississinawa’s Scholl hit three straight baskets to give the Hawks 6-0 run and 33-31 lead.
“She (Scholl) did a nice job finishing, making some plays for us,” coach Murphy said.
A foul on Brower sent the Railroader to the line, hitting both throws knotted the score 33-33 at 2:43 to play.
“We made some key free throws (seven of nine) there in the stretch and a couple of rebounds,” coach Murphy said.
Mississinawa was successful applying full-court press, outscoring Bradford 8-0 over the next 2:05 for a 41-33 lead at 0:38 to play.
“They shot their free throws well, but as a team we shouldn’t have put them in that situation,” Bradford girls varsity basketball coach Patrick McKee said. “We just have to learn how to deal with pressure.”
As the time ran out, the home team had a 42-35 victory.
“Defensively we jumped back in with some full court pressure,” coach Murphy said. “We had enough energy and legs to pull out the win.”
Mississinawa was led in scoring with 15 points from Maddie Murphy and 10 from Nicole Scholl. Brooke Dunlevy led Bradford with 13 points followed by 11 from Gabby Fair.