Eagles Survive Knights
Even Shorthanded, ERHS Wins, 52-48
Then again, the Eagles aren’t accustomed to playing higher-classification teams without two of their best players, either.
Playing without two injured starters – including college-bound senior center Meghan Nicholson – East Rock saw a 15-point second-half advantage shrink to one before some clutch plays late by senior Jessica Lam gave the Eagles a 52-48 win over Turner Ashby on Wednesday.
Lam scored seven of the last eight points for ERHS, including a layup with five seconds left that sealed the win. The Eagles (4-0) won their 32nd straight game dating to last season, a streak that now dates exactly a calendar year.
“Definitely Meghan and Katie, they’ve both been in a pretty strong starting five for awhile, so you do definitely have to take that into consideration,” said Lam, who finished with 14 points, including 8-of-12 foul shooting. “They carry their load.”
Nicholson, who has committed to play at Division II Concord next year, dislocated her shoulder earlier this season even after having surgery for a torn labrum during the offseason, and she’ll have an MRI today, ERHS coach Paul Comer said. The other missing starter was junior guard Katie Dofflemyer, a defensive stalwart who also can provide some scoring punch. Comer expects her to be back next week after she strained a tendon in her elbow.
Nicholson and Dofflemyer could only watch as TA (0-3) recovered from a 32-17 third-quarter deficit to 46-45 with two minutes left.
The run included three follow layups as the Knights secured eight offensive rebounds in the second half. Freshman forward Sarah Wood led the comeback, finishing with 10 points and six boards.
Senior Sarah Cameron (16 points), sophomore Madison Comer (14) and Lam (14) combined for 43 of the Eagles’ 52 points.
“We expect people to be able to plug in,” ERHS coach Paul Comer said. “We’ll get there; it’s going to take a little bit of time.”
Lam hit three free throws in the last two minutes, but her final bucket may have been the biggest. On a sideline out-of-bounds play with 10 seconds left – the Knights were obviously looking to foul – Comer drew up a play that sent Lam through two screens before cutting to the basket, and sophomore Madison Comer, who scored 14 points of her own, hit Lam inside for an uncontested layup.
“She’s the kid I trust the most with the game on the line,” Comer said of Lam. “If there’s a kid I’m going to put on the foul line, it’s going to be her, and that’s exactly why we did that. I want her to touch the ball right there.”
TA coach Rob Lovell, meanwhile, was lamenting his team getting outscored 18-7 in the second quarter, which included 13 Knight turnovers.
“Frankly in the second quarter, I didn’t think we played as hard as we’re capable of playing, and I pointed that out emphatically to our players at halftime,” Lovell said. “To their credit, they came out and corrected that.”
Comer 6 1-2 14, Grubbs 0 0-0 0, Rouse 0 0-0 0, Smith 0 1-2 1, Miller 0 0-0 0, Cameron 7 1-6 16, McPike 0 0-0 0, Wilkins 1 0-0 3, Lam 3 8-12 14, Bailey 0 2-2 2, Kisling 1 0-2 2. Totals 19 13-26 52.
Cleaver 1 0-0 2, Sheffer 0 0-0 0, Moyer 1 1-2 4, Sheets 2 2-2 6, Dean 3 0-0 7, Keeley 1 0-0 3, Witt 1 0-0 2, Wood 4 4-6 12, Bosley 2 0-0 4, LaParade 4 0-0 8. Totals 19 7-10 48.
East Rock 10 18 13 11 - 52
Turner Ashby 10 7 16 15 - 48
3-Point Goals—East Rockingham 3 (Comer, Cameron, Wilkins), Turner Ashby 3 (Moyer, Dean, Keeley). Fouled Out—Turner Ashby, Cleaver. Rebounds—East Rockingham 24 (Cameron 5), Turner Ashby 26 (Sheets 7). Total Fouls—East Rockingham 15, Turner Ashby 17.