- Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 February 2012 16:24
- Published on Wednesday, 08 February 2012 16:24
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After the Rappahannock Raiders pulled off a miracle last second hoop to defeat the Drifters 43-42, the battle for second place in the Northern Neck District will not be secure until the final game of the season. With Northumberland holding a firm grip on first place, only one game separates Lancaster, Washington & Lee, Colonial Beach, and Rappahannock.
The Raiders have now beaten three of the top four teams in the Northern Neck District - Colonial
Beach, Northumberland, Lancaster. The exception to the upper tier group of district adversaries is Washington & Lee, where the Eagles have defeated the Raiders twice this season. With the upcoming Northern Neck District Tournament about to take on Feb. 14 and 17, there is no clear-cut favorite to win it all. Earlier this season, at the Drifterdome, the Drifters soundly defeated the Raiders, 50-30.
Last Thursday, in Warsaw, if you missed the opportunity to witness one of the most thrilling games of the season in the form of the Raiders hosting the Drifters, it may be a long time until another nail-biter of this intensity comes along.
After trailing 3-0, in the first quarter, the Raiders rallied with scores from Ashley Towles, Harmony Smith, and Hannah Pierson to take a 7-3 lead. However, with two minutes remaining in the quarter, Jennay Shanklin buried a jumper from three-point land to cut the Raider lead to 7-6. With the game’s momentum swinging back forth, the Drifters tied the game on another three-pointer from Shanklin, and took the lead (11-9) with a running jumper from Jasmine Harris. Not to be outdone, and just before the first quarter buzzer, Towles scored on a fast break to tie the game at 11-11.
The second quarter was nearly a copy of the previous quarter, as both team exchanged leads and ties on two occasions. The turning point of the second quarter for the Raiders was a 9-2 run, led by Smith, which gave the home team a 29-23 lead.
In the third quarter, the action intensified, as both teams grappled for anything that resembled a lose ball. Capitalizing on Raider miscues, and turnovers, the Drifters tied the game on two Shanklin jumpers. Minutes later the Drifters tied the game, and took a 34-31 lead on two back-to-back three-pointers.
After trailing 36-33 at the start of the fourth quarter, Smith scored from beyond the perimeter, tying the game at 36-36. During the next three minutes the Raiders maintained a four point lead, until Shanklin scored two foul shots, and another three-pointer, which cut the Raider lead to 43-42, with 32 seconds left in the game.
With the partisan Raider crowd on the edge of their seats, and 13 seconds on the clock, Canieshia Fulcher scored two clutch foul shots to give the Drifters a 44-43 lead. As the clock reeled off the remaining seconds, Smith, guarded by a crowd of Drifters, managed to pass the ball to a wide-open Selene Epps. With less than two seconds on the clock, Epps missed the first attempt at a lay-up, but as the buzzer began its familiar sound, she managed to release the ball for the winning score. The officials ruled the shot a score, and the game was history.
Jennay Shanklin led the Drifters with 18 points, including three 3-pointers. Karley Inscoe added 11 points, and two 3-pointers. Smith led the Raiders with 21 points, while Epps added 10 points.