FORT LORAMIE — Both Fort Loramie head coach Carla Siegel and New Knoxville coach Tim Hegemier said their teams learned something from Tuesday night’s non-conference tilt.
It’s pretty clear that while both have rough edges as the season begins, once they’re a finished product they’ll be strong squads this season.
Fort Loramie built a double-digit lead and then held off a late New Knoxville charge in the fourth quarter to earn a 55-51 win on Tuesday night.
In a battle of teams that made trips to the regional level a season ago, Fort Loramie led by 10 points early in the fourth quarter before Haley Horstman, Paige Lehman and the Rangers came roaring back.
Horstman scored a game-high 21 points on 10-of-16 shooting, giving her three straight game of 20 or more points to start the season.
Paige Lehman did the Rangers’ work in the paint, scoring 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting.
That pairing helped New Knoxville turn a double-digit fourth quarter lead into a one possession game with a minute left.
“What a duo Tim Hegemier has in those two,” Siegel said.
Horstman scored four straight points to get the Rangers to within 47-42, Caitlin Magoto’s three-pointer from just left of the top of the key made it a one-possession game at 53-51.
“I just didn’t think we moved the ball as well in the second, third and fourth quarters as we did in the first,” Siegel said. “In the first half, New Knoxville plays regular defense because they don’t have a deep bench and they can’t get in foul trouble. And then in the third quarter, they just tune up that pressure defense and I didn’t think our girls responded well.”
But the Redskins’ Darian Rose, who scored a team-high 15 points for Fort Loramie, knocked down two free throws and New Knoxville turned the ball over with 11 seconds left to ice the the non-conference game for Fort Loramie.
“It just comes from being young,” Hegemier said. “Hopefully we learn something from it. We did a great job fighting back and I thought we had them on the run. It was just a shot missed here or a bad pass there. That’s something you’ll get with a young team.”
Fort Loramie jumped out to a 17-7 lead after the first quarter by holding New Knoxville to 3-of-13 shooting while shooting 8-of-14 in the first eight minutes.
New Knoxville went on a 5-0 run with a Lehman three-point play and a Horstman jumper in the final minute of the first half to get within 27-21 at halftime.
“It’s the same thing that happened in our game on Saturday night,” Siegel said. “We came out in the first quarter and did everything right, both offensively and defensively. Everything was beautiful. We get to the second quarter and there’s a letdown. We have a nice comfortable lead and next thing you know we breathe and the other team comes back.”
New Knoxville shot 22-of-49 from the floor (44.8 percent) and was just 4-of-18 from three-point distance (22.2). Fort Loramie shot 22-of-42 (52.3 percent). New Knoxville won the rebounding battle, 21-18.
NK 7 14 9 21 — 51
FL 17 10 12 16 — 55