Lady Warriors Lose Heartbreaker to McMichael, 38-34
February 4, 2012By Jim Scruggs of Western Alamance High School
"So close, so close and yet so far away."
Frankie Valli, from the song, "My Eyes Adored You"
The Western Lady Warriors saw perhaps their best chance for victory this season slip through their fingers in the final minute in a pulsating 38-34 loss to the McMichael Phoenix.
The Phoenix came into last night's challenge with a 3 - 15 record, only slightly better than Western's 0 - 19 record. Western had just played their best half of the year against a tough Eastern Guilford team and were confident of their chances against McMichael.
As expected, the game was close throughout. Although Western started the game ice cold from the floor, they trailed on by 2 at the half, 16-14.
McMichael started getting the better of things in the 3rd quarter and gradually increased their lead to 7, 25-18 going into the 4th.
This is when things got interesting. Behind hot shooting by Erin Scruggs, inspired play by a foul-plagued Kierra James, and ferocious rebounding by Alexis Dickerson, the Warriors fought their way back. Jumpers by Mary Gailey and Hannah Scruggs started the Warrior comeback. A three pointer by Erin Scruggs cut the deficit to just 2, 25-27, with just over 5 minutes to play. On multiple possesions, Kierra James made steals but was fouled on her lay-ups and was forced to convert from the foul line where she was struggling (4-10 on the night).
Kierra never quit fighting, however, and her short jumper at the 1:19 mark tied the score at 31 apiece. The Warrior Nation rose to their feet in support of the young Lady Warrior team, a rare occurence in girls' play this year, as the fans sensed a chance of victory.
Their hopes were dashed on the next possession, however, as McMichael's Crystal Benfield converted a 3-point play to quiet the Warrior comeback and help them survive and escape 'the Garrison' with a 38-34 win.
It was a bitterly disappointing loss in what has become a hard luck season for the Warriors. In defeat, they were led by Kierra James and Erin Scruggs, each with 12 points. Alexis Dickerson added 6 and Both Hannah Scruggs and Mary Gailey chipped in with 2 points apiece.
Western is next in action on Tuesday as they entertain the Northern Guilford Lady Nighthawks on Senior Night.