They aren't officially meeting for the first time in Colonial District play until January 3rd in Ashland, but, Patrick Henry and Deep Run found themselves paired Friday evening in the consolation bracket of the T-DIT, attempting to avoid the dreaded 9am game for 7th place on Saturday.
The lead went back and forth much of the first half, as the Wildcats found ways to make the Patriots seem tense controlling the basketball. But their five turnovers in the second quarter were a far cry from their 12 in the same quarter in round one yesterday against Highland Springs.
The Patriots built a four-point lead, but, Amanda Turner gave Patrick Henry nightmare flashbacks of the game-winning shot that knocked the Patriots out of last year's Colonial District tournament, nailing a half-court three-pointer at the buzzer to bring Deep Run within one at 25-24.
The Patriots played their best ball in the third and early fourth quarter, better controlling the ball and quietly building an eleven-point lead, as India Coles lit up the Wildcats for seven points during the span. But Deep Run had one more run in them, and, four minutes later, they tied the game at 46-46 on an Alley Odell basket.
It was nip and tuck the rest of the way, Amber Lee scoring to make it 50-48 Patrick Henry, then Turner making a free throw to cut the lead to 50-49 with 49 seconds left. Tyler Pinder was fouled, but missed a one-and-one and in spite of a Lee offensive rebound not converted into points, Deep Run had the ball with a chance to win.
The seconds ticked away until, with four to go, Megan Fitzsimmons found the ball in the lane after it had been blocked by the Patriots. Her shot from 12 feet went in.....and out of the basket. Lee rebounded, was fouled with 2.2 seconds to go, and the junior calmly sank both free throws for a 52-49 edge.
The Wildcats got off an anemic three-point attempt at the buzzer from 45 feet that fell way short, and the Patriots breathed a sigh of relief.
Patrick Henry moves to 9-1 on the year, and now they know exactly who their #1 rival in the district will be come January and beyond. This is no surprise, as most prognosticators predicted Deep Run would win the Colonial this season.
This tournament game does not count in the district standings, but their games January 3rd in Ashland and February 8th in Twin Hickory do.
And don't be shocked if there's a fourth and final matchup in the Colonial District tournament.
Patrick Henry will play Varina, 61-51 winners over Prince George in the other consolation bracket game, for 5th place at 12noon at the Siegel Center. Deep Run and Prince George will tip off for 7th place at 9am.
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