Lady Patriots fall to Myers Park 54-44 finishing third in conference

Patriots Braylyn Milton shooting a jumper. (Ron Morris)
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Trinity Thompson driving to the basket. (Ron Morris)
Averie DiBenedetto going for a loose ball. (Ron Morris)

The Lady Patriots needed a win coming into this game to prove they can beat the conference leader. They played exceptionally well during the first half, however, they were worn down by a stingy Mustang defense in the second half. Also, they had some shots that should have fallen that did not go in their favor. In fact, 11 points should have been made which would have carved out a one-point victory instead of suffering a difficult defeat.

Indy dominated early taking a 14-6 lead in the first period. The girls were playing aggressively, dominating the boards, controlling the tempo of the basketball game. Team leading scorer Braylyn Milton scored 9 points in the period to lead the charge.

In the second, Myers Park bounced back with good play and solid defense against the Patriots who were running trying to win the transition game with their three quick athletic guards Milton, Trinity Thompson and Averie DiBenedetto. While Gracie Breckenridge was doing a good job under the boards grabbing rebounds and blocking shots.

Thompson hit a baseline jumper, followed by DiBennedetto who swished a three-pointer, Laura Flynn with a jumper from the key, under a minute remaining Breckenridge for two off a rebound gave the Patriots a favorable 25-18 edge at the intermission.

In the second half, the tide and momentum began to change in favor of the Mustangs as they chipped away at the Patriots lead. By the end of the third period, the Patriots 7 point edge was reduced to just one point with a 35-34 lead. The Mustangs began to find the three-point range, especially Mia Xerras who hit several 3-point shots to keep Myers Park close and in certain striking distance to overtake Indy.

In the final period, Myers Park took the lead for good with 6:20 remaining in the basketball game on a 3-pointer giving the Mustangs a 40-37 advantage. With 4:05 remaining, the home team opened up their lead to 47-41. The Patriots DiBenedetto hit a 3-pointer from the corner to get Indy to within 5 points at 49-44 with 1:01 remaining. However, it was not enough, as the Mustangs won the basketball game making their free throws down the stretch and coming out with the victory and conference championship.

Braylyn Milton scored 18 points for Indy, and Mia Xerras led all scorers with 22 points, including four 3-pointers. The Mustangs ended the regular season with a 13-1 record to win the conference, Butler also at 13-1, while Indy finished with a 10-4 record in the conference and 18-6 overall.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
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