Mid-State League opener for both schools, but Kaity Wyeth and Ashley
Bope combined to make seven out of eight free throws down the stretch,
leading Fairfield Union to a 51-47 win.
AMANDA — Lancaster Fairfield Union and Amanda-Clearcreek both learned a valuable lesson Tuesday evening.
No lead is safe.
Amanda-Clearcreek erased an 18-point Fairfield Union lead in the Mid-State League opener for both schools, but Kaity Wyeth and Ashley Bope combined to make seven out of eight free throws down the stretch, leading Fairfield Union to a 51-47 win.
“We grew up a little bit with this game,” Fairfield Union coach Gary Burke said. “We lost a big lead, but we maintained our composure and pulled out the win at the end.”
Wyeth was the game’s leading scorer with 19 points, and Bope chipped in 16 points for the Lady Falcons. Megan Meyer paced Amanda-Clearcreek with 14 points.
“We worked as a team to get this win,” Wyeth said. “I scored some points, but my teammates did a good job of getting me the ball.”
Trailing 26-8 midway through the second quarter, the Lady Aces (0-1, 0-1) closed the first half on an 11-0 run. Amanda-Clearcreek made its last five shots during the streak, paced by Cara Thaxton and Megan Meyer each scoring four points.
“We’re an up-tempo basketball team,” Amanda-Clearcreek coach Butch Kobel said. “We weren’t boxing out on defense and not playing solid basketball, so we decided to bring a little more pressure against them.
“That allowed us to get out in transition for some good shots, and increase the tempo on defense.”
Amanda-Clearcreek closed to within three points at the end of the third quarter, thanks to an 8-0 run paced by Emily Meyer hitting a pair of baskets and Megan Meyer canning a three-pointer.
Jennifer Goodman capped the Amanda-Clearcreek comeback by hitting one out of two free throws midway through the fourth quarter to tie the contest at 44-44.
Momentum turned against the Lady Aces in the remaining four minutes, as Amanda-Clearcreek missed six of its final seven shots and turned the ball over three times.
“We buried ourselves early but we fought back to tie the game,” Kobel said. “I felt we were in pretty good shape but then we started to turn the ball over and pass up some shots.
“We had some girls who normally shoot the ball turn down some shots late. We’d rather see them shot the ball and have a chance to make a shot rather than us continuing to pass the ball over and over and turn the ball over.”
A Megan Meyer three-pointer couldn’t match Bope and Wyeth combining to make seven of eight free throws down the stretch.
Wyeth was the major factor in the Lady Falcons building its large first half lead, scoring 11 points in the first 11 minutes of play.
“We ran our offense and were patient at the beginning of the game,” Burke said. “We got out of our offense at the end of the first half, and that’s when we run into trouble.”
The Lady Falcons made 18 of 48 shots (37.5 percent), and the Lady Aces converted 19 of 59 opportunities (32 percent).
Amanda-Clearcreek entertains Miller Saturday in a 1 p.m. varsity only contest.
Fairfield Union returns home Tuesday to face Canal Winchester.