It was a nail bitter to finish the Lady Hawks’ season before regional tournament play.
By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor
It was a nail bitter to finish the Lady Hawks’ season before regional tournament play. Hosting the Lady Tigers in Scranton in what was a makeup game on Feb. 11, Hettinger/Scranton won 62-53 thanks to five free throws in the final minute by sophomore Abbigail Kludt to close out the game.
Both teams opened the first quarter with a turnover, and though New England was playing a cleaner game to start, the score was kept close until a 10-2 Hettinger/Scranton scoring run. The Tigers clawed back and cut the lead after New England senior Kassandria Lara drained a 3-pointer to end the first quarter. The Lady Hawks led 15-10.
Pinpoint three-point shooting helped Hettinger/Scranton tack on seven straight points to open up the second quarter. But New England kept fighting.
After a quiet third quarter that saw both teams trading points, the Lady Tigers opened up the final quarter with a shot form beyond the arc. But New England put Hettinger/Scranton in the bonus early and had to watch their play.
After leading much of the game by double digits, the Tigers had slowly cut the lead and found themselves down by just five points with 3:20 left in the game.
Hettinger/Scranton called a timeout to regroup.
But New England was persistent down at the post, and was getting their offensive rebounds they needed for second-chance points.
A frustrated Taylor Burwick got a technical as the ball rolled in front of her and she pushed it with her foot. But New England missed both their free shots.
With the score 56-51 with 1:06 left on the clock, Hettinger/Scranton scored four straight points on the foul line to increase their lead.
A layup New England junior Paige Ehlis with eight seconds left cut the lead to eight.
But a blocked shot by Hettinger/Scranton’s senior Brianna Robinson iced the game.
Abbigail Kludt lead the Hawks in scoring with 18 points, followed by Molly Holt and Alyssa Andress, who each had 10.
Leading the way for New England was Elizabeth Kaufman with 13. Second on the evening for the Tigers was Ehlis who had 12.
SCORING: HS—Kludt (18), Holt (10), Andress (10), Burwick (9), Robinson (9), Briana Sanford (4), Sam Oase (3).
NE—Kaufman (13), Ehlis (12), Lara (11), Hailee Kuske (8), Adrienne Roller (5), Molly Rayhorn (4).