In a key Coastal Plains Independent Conference game between Wayne Christian and John Paul II on Monday evening, Wayne Christian used its toughness and grit to pull out a 42-40 win over the Saints.
The game was tightly contested throughout all four quarters.
Wayne Christian jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the first quarter, but John Paul’s DeeDee Koesters made it 6-5 after eight minutes.
The Eagles found themselves down 11-6 late in the second quarter, but Wayne Christian used a 9-0 run to take a 15-11 lead into halftime.
Back-to-back baskets from Caroline Fox gave Wayne Christian a 22-15 advantage midway through the third quarter, but the Saints closed out the third quarter on a 12-5 run to tie things up 27-27.
The fourth quarter saw seven lead changes and two ties, and a basket from Koesters put the Saints in front 40-38 with a 1:32 left. However, with 28 seconds left, Ella Fox’s layup made it 40-40.
John Paul II missed a three-pointer on its next possession, and with seconds left in the game, the Saints had to foul Abby Huffman.
Huffman missed both free throw attempts. Ella Fox collected the rebound but could not score, but somehow, the ball bounced into Caroline Fox’s hands. Fox was then fouled, and she nailed the two free throws as the Eagles earned a hard-fought win.
Wayne Christian (10-1 overall, 3-1 CP) has little time to celebrate its win because the Eagles host county rival Wayne Country Day (15-6, 2-1) in another pivotal conference matchup.