PORT ROYAL Molly Arnold's put back for the Juniata Mennonite Lady Lions with just four seconds remaining in regulation extended their contest with Columbia County Christian Friday night.
However, the Lions fell short, losing in double overtime in thrilling fashion, 53-49.
It was a game of comebacks as both teams rallied back twice from deficits to either tie or go ahead in the contest.
Sentinel photo by BUFFIE?BOYER
Juniata Mennonite School’s Molly Arnold dribbles past Columbia County Christian School’s Bethany Snyder Friday at Cedar Grove Brethren in Christ Church, in Mifflintown.
"In a game like that you can look at a lot of things had it gone differently it would have been the end. We really lost it from the foul line," Juniata Mennonite coach Andy Meiser said. "But as far as my girls' effort and gustiness I have no complaints. They are a tremendous group of young ladies. I love coaching them. A missed lay up here, missed foul shot there a bad break there, that's basketball and also life."
Trailing 31-25 going into the final stanza, the Lions made their attempt for the comeback right away as Bethany Saner led Juniata Mennonite on an early 6-2 run, cutting the lead to 33-31 with four of the six points. Also scoring in the run was Lauren Breon.
Not only did Arnold hit the final shot in regulation, she also helped the Lions in the final minutes scoring four points in crunch time.
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Also coming through in the clutch was Valarie Meiser. Meiser roped her second triple of the contest with a minute remaining, tying the contest for the first time since early in the second quarter at 11-11.
However, the Lions trailed by a bucket when Alexis Hahn-Kline stepped up to charity stripe for a one-on-one situation. Though her shot bounced out of the rim, Arnold was there for the offensive board and the put back, taking it to the first overtime.
Things started out strong for the Lions in the first extra period, holding a lead for most of the quarter.
But a late score by the Defenders took the game into its second extenision, tied at 44.
This time, despite a triple by Meiser, the Lions could not keep pace with the scrappy group from Columbia as they were outscored 9-5 en route to the Defenders victory.
Leading the way in the scoring department for Juniata Mennonite was Arnold with 13 hard earned points. Court mates Meiser and Lauren Breon both finished a point behind her, tallying 12.
Columbia got a game high 20-point performance from Kenzie Buche while Emily Ney and Bethany Snyder both rallied for 10 points in the victory.