Thursday night was the first time East coach Jack Branon led an East Lady Tartans squad to a win over New Boston. The Lady Tartans were able to grind out a 53-48 overtime home win over the Lady Tigers.
“I think, as much as anything else, (this shows) that maybe we’re making some improvement, showing some improvement in our program,” Branon said. “Even more than beating New Boston, just the fact that we were able to get in a close ball game and make plays at the end to win the game (is huge).”
Senior Toni Lang was the main contributor for East, who defeated its SOC I rival for the first time in 10 tries, with a game-high 27 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the field to go along with 13 rebounds. Lang made all five of her shots in the third quarter.
After a low-scoring and turnover-laden first quarter in which New Boston led 6-5, the Lady Tartans used a 12-4 run to close out the first half and take a 21-14 lead into the locker room. East. The Lady Tartans would not relinquish the lead until midway through the fourth quarter when Courtney DeLotell, who finished with seven points, connected on a three-point play to give the Lady Tigers a 40-39 lead.
The two teams jockeyed with the lead until the final seconds of regulation. Sierra Dingess made the first of two free throws to give East a 44-42 lead but the second missed and Shawna Buckley put up the equalizer with 2.4 seconds left and sent it into overtime.
The extra frame belonged to the Lady Tartans, who outscored New Boston 9-4.
“We had a couple of key shots in overtime, hit some free throws,” Branon said. “I think the key was our defense in overtime. We did a good job rebounding, especially in the overtime.”
Buckley paced the Lady Tartans with 18 points in the loss. East won the battle of the boards as well with a 43-32 advantage.
CODY LEIST can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Boston — Harding 4 2 10, Lykins 3 3 9, Buckley 7 4 18, DeLotell 3 1 7, McGraw 2 0 4. Totals 19 10 48.
East — Craft 0 4 4, Swords 1 0 2, Williams 3 2 9, Howard 2 0 4, Kelley 2 0 4, Dingess 1 1 3, Lang 11 6 27. Totals 20 13 53.
3-pointers — New Boston None; East 1 (Williams)
Records — New Boston 2-7, East 4-6 (3-3).