By Brian Besch
In a contest to decide second place, the Chester Lady Jackets escaped Friday with a 28-27 win over Goodrich in Leggett’s Dudley Dickens Gymnasium.
A tie for second place in District 28-1A forced the seeding game that the Lady Hornets would lead until the fourth quarter.
In a tale of two halves, Chester could not find the bottom of the net through the opening two quarters. They were held to three made shots at the half, with Goodrich leading 19-8.
A zone defense from Chester in the second half frustrated the Lady Hornet offense, making it difficult to even put up shots. They would be held to the same eight points in a half.
With 3:41 to go in the fourth, post Breya Passmore fouled out with the Lady Hornets up 25-24. Soon after, Aralyn Angel was disqualified on five fouls at 2:43 and the same score showing. Chester would go up by one for the first time just 17 seconds later.
Yet, Goodrich still had chances. They came on the free-throw stripe, where Goodrich was 7-of-19, good for just 37%.
“We missed 12 on the line, and if you can’t make your free throws in a game like that, there is no way you can win it,” Goodrich coach Pinellafie Johnson said. “When you are playing someone and you know it is tight, those free throws have got to count.”
Latrina Morgan led the team with eight points, Angel had seven and Passmore had six in the close loss. Still, Johnson likes how her team is playing.
“They are picking it up real quick now,” Johnson said. “We are changing things. If we wouldn’t have done a box-and-one (defense) tonight, (Chester scoring threat Lily Read) would have burned us alive. We did manage to hold her off until we ended up getting ourselves in foul trouble.”
The coach was upbeat following the contest and excited to get into the postseason.
“We are going to play Martinsville,” she said. “We are in good shape if we will go out and play. We still have a shot to get our foot into that regional tournament. We will have to get by (District 30-1A champion and state-ranked) Moulton now, because we are stuck down there with them. We would have been up there with Coolidge, where we would have had a better shot if we had gotten past Slocum. We are still going to give it all we’ve got, because they’ve got it in them to do it.”