Lady Patriots fall in home opener

Indy’s Braylyn Milton takes the ball to the basket in Tuesday’s home game against Hopewell. (Ron Morris)
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The 2018-2019 basketball season opened Tuesday night with the Lady Patriots hosting the Hopewell Titans in a non-conference game played in front of a large crowd at Independence High School.

The Lady Patriots won the opening tip and scored on a Julia Rohlfing basket to take an early lead at 2-0.  After that, both teams showed opening night butterflies as neither team could buy a basket.  It wasn’t until the 5:30 mark before Hopewell tied the score on a Nawaza Chamber’s basket.  In the next four minutes Hopewell committed six straight fouls, but unfortunately the Lady Patriots could not connect on any of the free throws.

Indy’s Julia Rohlfing puts up a jumper and draws the foul.(Ron Morris)

It wasn’t until the 2:06 mark that Indy re-took the lead at 4-2 on a short jumper by Julia Rohlfing.  With 1:54 left in the first period, Ayanna Anderson went to the line to make the score 5-2.  Hopewell answered with a basket cutting the score to 5-4 with 1:20 remaining.  On Indy’s next possession Braylyn Milton scored giving Indy a three point lead at 7-4 with one minute left.  Indy got whistled for a foul that put Hopewell’s Ariana Montgomery on the line with two shots.  Montgomery cut the score to one 7-6 with 52.4 seconds remaining in the first quarter.  Once again Indy committed a foul with 15.9 showing on the clock.  Hopewell tied the score at seven.  On the in bounds pass Hopewell stole the ball and scored as the horn sounded to take a 9-7 first quarter lead.

As the second quarter started Indy’s Laura Flynn tied the score with a jumper.  However, the Lady Titans answered to re-take the lead at 11-9 with 7:10 remaining in the first half.  After Indy’s Julia Rohlfing tied the score at eleven, the Lady Patriots started having problems taking care of the basketball.

Hopewell re-took the lead at 13-11.  The inbounds pass was stolen for another basket to make the score 15-11 which caused coach Lauren Galvani to call a timeout.  After the time out, the Lady Patriots committed another turn over that resulted in a basket for the Lady Titans.  With four minutes remaining in the first half, Hopewell moved out to a 19-12 lead.  The Lady Patriots didn’t get back on the board until the 1:59 mark when Azuria Barrino scored from the foul line to make the score 19-13.  After an Indy foul, Hopewell made a couple free throws and moved out to an 21-13 lead.  With thirty seconds left in the half, the Lady Patriots turned the ball over which resulted in another Hopewell basket to make the score 23-13.  The first half ended with Indy’s Azuria Barrino making a free throw to make the half time score 23-14 in favor of Hopewell.

With 4:20 left In the third period the Lady Patriots had cut the score to eight at 29-21.  But the Lady Titans kept fighting and moved out to a 34-21 lead with 3:18 left in the third quarter.  Indy cut the score to seven on two Braylyn Milton free throws.  Aided by a free throw from Julia Rohlfing and a last minute field goal from Milton, Indy trailed 36-29 going into the final period.

Patriots guard Natalyah Wilson brings the ball up court.(Ron Morris)

With 6:15 left in the game, Indy cut the score to two points, 36-34, on a Braylyn Milton 3-pointer. That was as close as the Lady Patriots came to re-taking the lead.  However, the Lady Patriots kept the game close until two quick baskets by Hopewell.  After scoring a field goal, the Lady Patriots were called for a travel and that basket moved the Lady Titans up 42-36.

The Lady Titans offense slowed the game down and was content with taking time off the clock.  With 3:19 showing on the clock, a Hopewell player got open under the basket and scored moving the Lady Titans back to a ten point lead.  Once again, Indy committed a turn over for a Hopewell basket to make the score 48-36.  Azuria Barrino scored Indy’s last basket, 48-38, with 2:24 remaining.

Hopewell continued to play a slowed down game and scored the final basket to end the game 50-38.

Braylyn Milton led the Lady Patriots with 16 points.  Julia Rohlfing added 8 while Laura Flynn and Azuria Barrino added 4 each.  Ayanna Anderson had 3 points. Sharonda Smith had 2 points, and Natalyah Wilson finished the night with 1 point.

Coach Galvani said, “I was realistic going into the game. I knew they were good and with the addition of Nevaeh Caldwell, they became better. I was happy with our post play.  It was good, but the turn overs and foul shooting cost us the game.  We committed 14 turnovers in the first half and 5 in the second half.  We missed 12 foul shots and Hopewell made 10, foul shots and we lost by 12.”

“I’m not happy with the loss, but I saw a lot of positive things tonight. We just need to get back in the gym and work on a few things and get ready for Olympic.”

Hopewell          9  14  13  14  –  50

Independence  7   7   15    9  –  38

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