The Independence women’s basketball team won 47-42 in its conference opener Friday night at Independence High School. The victory was the Lady Patriots’ first win over the Lady Ragin’ Bulls since Hickory Ridge joined the Southwestern 4A Conference in 2017.
Indy’s Braylyn Milton made crucial free throws in the fourth quarter to seal the win for the Lady Patriots. Milton led the team with 19 points, 11 of which came in the fourth quarter. She also had 3 rebounds and 6 assists.
Trinity Thompson was the only other Indy player to score in double figures. She had 12 points, had 4 rebounds and 1 assist.
Ayanna Anderson was a rebounding machine for the Lady Patriots. She led the team with 20 rebounds, 16 of those boards came on the defensive end of the floor. She also added 8 points and had 2 steals.
Alex Barrino had 4 points and 1 rebound. Gracie Breckenridge scored 2 points, pulled down 8 rebounds and had 5 blocked shots. Laura Flynn had 2 points, 2 rebounds and 1 blocked shot.
The Lady Patriots jumped out to a 6-0 lead with baskets by Trinity Thompson and two field goals by Ayanna Anderson. Hickory Ridge cut the score to one point 6-5, on a 3-point jumper and a basket in the lane at the 3:02 mark.
With 1:50 remaining in the first period, Alex Barrino grabbed an offensive rebound and scored putting Indy up 8-5, but with 30 seconds showing on the clock, Hickory Ridge drained a 3-pointer to tie the score 8-8 at the end of the period.
In the second quarter Hickory Ridge moved out to a 12-8 advantage. With 4:57 left in the period, Braylyn Milton scored on a free throw and Gracie Breckenridge scored on a shot under the basket to cut the Hickory Ridge’s lead to one point 12-11.
At the 3:56 mark, Trinity Thompson put Indy back in the lead with a baseline jumper making the score 13-12. After Hickory Ridge tied the score at 13, Braylyn Milton got open at the top of the key and hit a 3-point basket to make the score 16-13 with 2:24 left in the half.
At the 1:17 mark, The Lady Bulls tied the score at 16 and re-took the lead 18-16 with a minute showing on the clock. With 23 seconds left in the half, Indy’s Alex Barrino went to the line and made both of her foul shots to tie the score at 18.
But with 4.2 seconds showing on the clock, Hickory Ridge drove down the middle of the lane for the basket and was fouled on the play. Hickory Ridge made the old fashioned 3-point play and took a 21-18 halftime lead.
In the second half the Lady Bulls jumped out to a 25-20 lead with 6:34 left in the third quarter.
At the 6:25 mark, the Lady Patriots went on an 11-0 run. Trinity Thompson went to the line and hit two free throws. Then she hit a baseline jumper to cut Hickory Ridge’s lead to one at 25-24.
With 4:53 left in the quarter, Ayanna Anderson pulled down an offensive rebound and scored to give the Lady Patriots a 26-25 lead. Laura Flynn added a basket and Trinity Thompson’s 3-pointer put the Lady Patriots in the lead 31-25 with 3:32 remaining in the quarter.
The Lady Bulls fought back and went on a 5-0 run of their own to make the score 31-30 with 2:18 left in the quarter. After a Braylyn Milton basket, the Lady Bulls drained a 3-point basket to tie the score at 33-33 with 40 seconds left to play.
With 24 seconds showing on the clock, Braylyn Milton hit a driving layup giving Indy a 35-33 lead. But as the buzzer sounded, Hickory Ridge nailed a 3-pointer to tie the score at 35 heading into the final period.
In the final period, the Lady Patriots came out with an aggressive defense holding the Lady Bulls to only seven fourth quarter points. Not only did Indy’s hard play cause the Lady Bulls to turn the ball over, it also created fouls which put the Lady Patriots on the free throw line for 17 shots.
Braylyn Milton went to the charity stripe 13 times and hit 9 of those 13 shots. She also hit a baseline runner with 1:50 to go to make the score 42-38.
After the Lady Patriots made four more free throws, Hickory Ridge made a free throw and a field goal to make the score 46-42 with 9.8 seconds left in the game. With 7 seconds showing on the clock, the Lady Bulls fouled Trinity Thompson who made one of her two shots to make the final score 47-42 giving the Lady Patriots their first win over the Lady Bulls.
The Lady Patriots go to 6-1 overall and 1-0 in conference play. Their next game will be December 17 at East Mecklenburg High School.
Hickory Ridge 8 13 14 7 – 42
Independence 8 10 17 12 – 47