In front of a packed house at North Mecklenburg High School, Braylyn Milton’s 21 point performance and a clutch half court shot as the final horn sounded lifted the Lady Patriots to a one-point win 42-41 over the Lady Vikings.
North Meck built a 4-1 lead four minutes into the first quarter but Indy tied the score on a Laura Flynn jumper and took the lead on a drive to the basket by Braylyn Milton. With 1:30 to go North Meck’s Jessica Timmons hit a 3-point basket to put the Vikings up 8-6. Indy’s Trinity Thompson tied the game with 39 seconds left in the period. But as the time ran down, the Lady Vikings scored to take a 10-8 first quarter lead.
Both teams could score only five points in the second period. Trinity Thompson drained a 3-pointer at the 4:42 mark and hit a jumper at the top of the key to give Indy a 13-10 lead. North Meck answered with a lay up with 1:48 showing on the clock. North Meck’s Nye’mah Smith hit a 3-pointer with 4.8 seconds to go in the half to give the Lady Vikings a 15-13 half time lead.
Indy started the second half with a quick 3-point basket from Braylyn Milton to give Indy a 16-15 lead. With 1:25 left in the quarter, the Lady Vikings retook the lead 25-24 and drove for a lay up with 38 seconds remaining to take a 28-24 lead heading into the final period.
The two teams exchanged leads and were tied heading into the final minutes. North Meck moved out to a six point lead 37-31 with only three minutes left to play. With 2:10 remaining, Indy’s Alex Barrino forced her way to the basket to cut North Meck’s lead 39-33.
With 1:55 left in the game, North Meck drove to the basket, but Indy’s Gracie Breckenridge blocked the shot, and Braylyn Milton picked up the loose ball and made the down court pass to Trinity Thompson for the basket.
With a minute left North Meck moved back to a 40-35 lead. With 38.9 seconds left in the game, Braylyn Milton scored and drew a foul to make the score 40-37. Milton missed her foul shot, but Trinity Thompson came down with the rebound and passed out front to Milton who drove to the basket making the shot cutting the score to 40-39 with 18.6 seconds showing on the clock.
After a North Meck time out, Indy committed a foul. North Mecklenburg made the front end of the one-for-one and took a 41-39 lead. The Vikings missed the second shot, and Indy came down with the rebound. Braylyn Milton moved the ball down the court but was fouled with 8.8 seconds left in the game.
Milton went to the line shooting one-for-one but missed the front end. Gracie Breckenridge went to the floor for the loose ball but was whistled for the foul with 6.5 seconds left in the period. North Meck missed the free throws but came down with the rebound and was fouled with 4.7 seconds left to go.
North Meck missed its free throws, and Braylyn Milton came away with the rebound. Milton started down the court and as time ran out she got a half court shot up just before the buzzer. The ball sailed into the basket for the three point play to give the Lady Patriots a 42-41 victory.
After the game, Braylyn said: “I checked the clock and I knew that the time was running out and had to get the best shot we could. I was hurrying the ball down the court, and when I got to mid-court, I heard someone yell shoot it now. I took the shot and luckily it went in.”
Head coach Lauren Galvani was beaming and said: “To be playing on a court where I used to play and spent much of my younger life, this was already a big game, and the girls knew that. The way they played in the first half was unbelievable. That put us in position for the second half, and Braylyn hit just an unbelievable shot for the win. No bank just net.”
Braylyn Milton led the Lady Patriots with 21 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Trinity Thompson poured in 15 points grabbed 6 rebounds and had 1 assist and 2 steals. Ayanna Anderson added 4 points, had a team high 11 rebounds and one assist. Laura Flynn finished the night with 2 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal.
Independence 8 5 11 18 – 42
North Mecklenburg 10 5 13 13 – 41