Patrick Henry played 10:59 of solid basketball at the Siegel Center in the Times-Dispatch Invitational Tournament 3rd Place Game Monday against Hermitage, taking a 12-5 lead after a quarter.
Then the ice man cometh. The Patriots could neither find the basket nor find a way to keep Hermitage off the glass on both ends of the floor, and the Panthers clawed back for a one-point halftime lead.
The flow was the same for most of the second half until, with under three minutes left, down 33-29, the Patriots zipped to an 8-0 run. Amber Lee and Summer Price each hit two baskets to give Patrick Henry a 37-33 lead with 39.6 seconds left.
Then "Destini" took over.
Destini Walker drove the court, got the traditional three-point play to cut the lead to 37-36. After Price missed the front end of a one-and-one, Walker drove the court but was way right on her potential game-winner. India Coles got the rebound and was fouled with 4.3 seconds left.
The Patriots called time to draw up what to do, hoping Plan A, two made free throws, would force the Panthers into a three-point prayer to tie.
But Coles, too, missed the front end of the one-and-one, Walker rebounded, and zoomed down the court. Her three-point attempt as the buzzer sounded was short, knocking off the left corner of the rim, but the whistle echoed throughout Siegel Center.
Summer Price was called for a foul, giving Walker three free throws with no time remaining. She calmly sank the first two to clinch the victory.
The 38-37 victory improves Hermitage to 7-2 on the season, as Walker had 25 of their 38 points.
For the Patriots, Price had 16, Lee 15, and they fall to 7-2 going into the holiday break.
They'll need to shake this loss off quickly, so there's no hangover come January 7th when they return to action against Douglas Freeman.
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