Allison Hitchcock hit nothing but net from behind the 3-point line in a last-ditch attempt to push her Lady Pioneers to victory Thursday night.
The shot left Warren County down 52-51 with 3.9 seconds to play and the Lady Pioneer defense fouled immediately on the inbound pass.
Franklin County made 1-of-2 for a 53-51 lead. When the second shot missed, Kristen Rowland corralled the rebound and took off in the direction of the Lady Pioneer goal.
Just a step inside the Warren County side of the court Rowland heaved a desperation shot over the defense. It was right on target but fell just short of the rim and time expired as the Lady Rebels escaped clutching a 53-51 win over the Lady Pioneers.
The bank was open for the Lady Rebels just before the half with the Pioneers down two, 26-24. Franklin County lofted up a contested 3-pointer from the right side. The shot was high and long on just the right angle. It kissed off the glass and fell through as the horn signaled the end of the first half and the Lady Rebels extended their lead, 29-24.
During the third period, the Lady Pioneer struggles continued and the Franklin County press blanketed the backcourt. The Lady Pioneer passing game was not sharp. The high-arching passes over the defense kept the ball in the air longer and allowed the Franklin County defense time to get under the ball. Turnovers plagued Warren County in the third.
On several occasions, the Lady Pioneer guards picked up their dribble in the backcourt and those mistakes forced Warren County to turn the ball over or lose it out of bounds. After a dismal third quarter, the Lady Pioneers trailed 43-32.
In the final period, Marlee Smith picked up a quick pair of fouls and then responded when she was able to draw a charge. The charge also captured some of the momentum back in favor of Warren County.
Back-to-back turnovers by Franklin County forced the Lady Rebels to call timeout. Warren County was back in the game but still trailed 48-42. Both teams knew it was go time. A total of four players went to the floor in an attempt to gain possession of the ball.
As time ticked off the clock, each trip down the floor was critical. Elsa Eckenrod drove the lane and hit a short, pull-up jumper and the Lady Pioneers trailed 48-44. Franklin County was fouled in the post and shot 0-for-2.
With 1:10 to play, Ryland Moore slipped past the defense and scored deep in the paint and the Lady Pioneers trailed 48-46.
The Lady Rebel offense struggled late from the free-throw line and shot 2-of-4. A pair of fouls allowed Franklin County to extend the lead to 50-46 with under a minute to play.
Callie Cathcart’s shot rimmed out and the Lady Rebel rebounded. Tyra Wright fouled and sent the Lady Rebels back to the free-throw line where they made 1-of-2 and took a 51-46 lead.
Rowland got the ball in the open and fired. Her shot was good with :15 to play and Warren County trailed 51-48. Cathcart fouled on the inbound play. Franklin County missed the first and connected the second and the score was 52-48. Timeout was called by Franklin County after the made free throw.
Warren County threw a long inbound pass and Hitchcock delivered from behind the 3-point line. The Lady Pioneers trailed 52-51 to set up the final sequence.