Haley's 3-pointer lifts ND to win at SD

Jan. 5—The South Decatur faithful was excited when the Lady Cougars took a 5-point lead with :09.5 remaining in the fourth quarter. That excitement went to disappointment with just two North Decatur shots.

Following Kiley Best's free throw to give South a 36-31 lead with :09.5 left in the game, North's Madi Allen rushed the ball up the court and found Clare Kinker for the 3-pointer. Kinker drained the shot from the left wing and North Coach Doug Laker called a time-out with the Lady Chargers within two and :02.5 left on the clock.

South's inbounds pass went out of bounds and the Lady Chargers were given the ball under their own basket. After another North time-out, Kinker hit Kelsey Haley in the right corner with the inbounds pass. Haley connected on the 3-pointer at the buzzer to give North the 37-36 victory.

With the win, North improves to 11-6 overall and 2-0 in the MHC. South drops to 9-9 and 3-1 in conference play.

"The girls found a way to win...a team win," Coach Laker said.

North struggled putting the ball in the basket all night. The Lady Chargers shot 27.3 percent from the field and just 41.7 percent from the free throw line.

South's Makayla Somers opened the scoring in the game. North got on the board with Haley's first 3-pointer of the night to put the Lady Chargers on top. Paige McQueen scored for South before Carmen Thackery scored for North on the fast break and Allen scored off a rebound.

After the first quarter, North led 7-4.

Allen's bucket early in the second quarter extended North's lead to five. Molly Eden hit 3-of-4 free throws to close the gap to 9-7. The lead grew to six points on a traditional three point play by North's Ella Kunz to make it 14-8.

After a Best bucket for South and a free throw by Kunz for North, South's Makayla Puckett hit a 3-pointer to get the Lady Cougars within two. Eden was clutch at the free throw line again, hitting 2-of-2 to tie the game at 15-15 at the half.

Best opened the third quarter with a bucket. After a bucket by Allen and free throw by Kinker for North, South's Brayley Sundal scored on the rebound put-back. Jo Whitaker hit a jumper from the right wing for North. The teams traded scores until Taylor Somers' short jumper put South up 23-22. Another Kinker free throw tied the game.

South went on a 5-0 run to close the third quarter. Best had three and Eden knocked down two more free throws. After three quarters, South led 28-23.

Best's traditional three point play opened the fourth and streatched the Lady Cougars' lead to 31-23. Following two Kunz free throws, Kinker completed a traditional three point play to cut the deficit to 31-28.

The lead bounced back-and-forth from five to three until North's Thackery hit a free throw to get North within four at 35-31 with :18.4 to play.

Best's free throw with :09.5 made it 36-31 to set up North's exciting last minute victory 37-36.

For the Lady Chargers, Allen led the way with 10 points. Kunz and Kinker both had eight points. Haley finished with six points. Thackery added three points and Jo Whitaker had two points.

For South, Best led in scoring with 13 points. Molly Eden was next with nine points. Makayla Puckett and Makayla Somers both had four points. McQueen, Brayley Sundal and Taylor Somers all scored two points.

In the 2-quarter junior varsity action, North topped South 27-5.

Ally Whitaker, Jewel Verseman, and Libby Crawford led North in scoring with six points each. Sarah Moeller added four points in the contest while Grace Nobbe connected on a 3- pointer. Thackery scored points.

Both teams return to action Tuesday. North travels to Morristown. South heads to Crothersville.

Contact Aaron Kirchoff at