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The St. Marys girls basketball team rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit to get its first victory of the season as they defeated the Sidney Lehman Cavaliers 43-39 in comeback fashion at Murotech Court.
After trailing 28-15 at the half, the Riders turned up the defensive pressure and forced the Cavaliers into 12 third-quarter turnovers.
“The game plan we had in the second half was to turn up the pressure and cause turnovers,” St. Marys head coach Kelly Fulmer said. “We hadn’t been getting much offensively so we wanted to get more out of our pressure and it helped our offense. We also wanted to box out and I think we matched both of them in the second half.”
The Riders were led by Ashleigh Falk and Molly Albert with 13 points apiece.
Trailing 28-15 at halftime, St. Marys got the third quarterstarted by hitting a free throw from Molly Albert in the first 20 seconds and with 6:47 left Reagan Aller hit a basket to close the gap to 10 points.
Lehman Catholic finally got on the board with a basket by Maria Yannucci with 6:06 left, but the Riders got a free throw from Kelly Heitkamp with 6:03 left.
Ashleigh Falk turned a steal into a basket and eight seconds later Albert hit a basket to cut the lead to 30-23 with 5:47 left and causing Lehman to call timeout.
Following the timeout, Lehman was called for five straight fouls, but the Riders only got to the line once and Falk connected on one of two. After that, Albert converted a turnover into a big three to cut the lead to 30-27 with four minutes left. Lehman finally got back on the board off a turnover with a three from Olivia Slagle. The Riders hit two more free throws by Albert to trail after three quarters 33-29.
“We came out a little flat in the first half tonight,” Riders head coach Kelly Fulmer said. “In the second half we decided that we needed to up the intensity a little bit and we knew we had the man power to do it. You have to give Sidney Lehman credit because they gave us quite the fight. It was a hard fought battle by both teams and we were able to pull it off.”
Things only got worse for Lehman in the fourth quarter as Kelly Heitkamp and Lee Ann Bertke turned steals into layups to tie the game at 33-all with 6:30 left.
The Riders had trouble containing Kandis Sargeant as she led the Cavaliers with 13 points and had nine rebounds.
The Riders (1-5) entertain Piqua next Tuesday.