February 16th, 2011

Moss Spoils Sacred Heart Senior Night

Chris Jung

Senior Writer

Moss Spoils Sacred Heart Senior Night
photo by Chris Jung

Valkyries fall 55-50 after leading by ten points in 4th quarter

After recovering from a 9-0 deficit out of the gate and near-disastrous opening quarter on Wednesday night, Sacred Heart Academy squandered a 10-point lead with 2:52 remaining against Boone County, and lost to the visiting Lady Rebels 55-50 on SHA Senior Night.

Boone County, who got a 17-point, 16-rebound double-double from junior Sydney Moss, relied on the long ball late in the game, as four total 3-pointers in the fourth quarter by Stacie Shrout and Annie Browning sunk the Valkyries and spoiled the festive environment.

“I think we just led our guard down and didn’t execute down the stretch,” said SHA Head Coach Donna Moir. “And that’s on me too.”

With SHA leading 50-40 and less than three minutes remaining, the Lady Rebels hit back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the Valkyrie lead to 50-49 with 1:35 to go.

And after a missed jumper on the other end by SHA senior point guard Maddie Peabody, junior forward Lydia Nash got free down low for Boone County and laid in her 11th point of the night to give the Rebels a 51-50 advantage with 53 seconds on the clock.

The Valkyries wouldn’t lead again. In fact, SHA wouldn’t even score again.

“We scouted them enough and knew those girls could shoot and you knew one (of them) was going to make it down the stretch,” said Moir. “We didn’t find our shooters in transition, which we were doing early in the game, and it hurt us. But credit to them. They stepped up and hit the big shots.”

Moir’s squad, which said goodbye to six seniors who were playing their last home game for the Valkyries, fell behind early and found itself down by scores of 9-0 and 11-2 in the first quarter, as Moss nearly reached a double-double in eight minutes of play.

Moss scored eight points and had seven rebounds in quarter No. 1, giving Boone County a 17-9 lead.

The Rebels pushed its lead back to 11 points at 20-9 to start the second quarter, but a jumper by freshman Raven Merriweather halted the Rebel momentum and sparked a big run for the Valkyries.

And with 2:39 to go before halftime, senior Annamarie Campbell’s layup capped a 9-0 Sacred Heart run and tied the game at 20-20.

After Boone County led 26-22 at the midway point, SHA tied the game again at 30-30 at the third quarter’s 5:30 mark on a jumper by senior Monica McGreal. Five minutes later, and with less than a minute to go in the third quarter, Sacred Heart took its first lead of the game, 37-36, on a bucket by senior Morgan Clemons.

McGreal’s layup with 18 seconds to go in the quarter put SHA up 39-36 and had a reeling Boone County team on its heels and fading.

The Valkyries kept its foot on the accelerator to start the fourth quarter, as McGreal’s sixth straight point put SHA ahead 45-36 with 5:26 remaining in the game.

A free throw by Clemons put the home team up 50-40 with 2:52 to go, and SHA seemed poised to celebrate an impressive Senior Night comeback victory.

But a barrage of long balls quickly followed and Nash’s aforementioned layup gave Boone County its final lead of the game, 51-50 with 53 seconds left.

On SHA’s ensuing possession, Moss ripped her seventh and most significant steal of the night, forcing the Valkyries to foul. Shrout would knock down both bonus free throws to extend the BC lead to 53-50.

And after Clemons missed the front end of her bonus one-and-one on the next SHA possession, the Lady Rebels converted its 10th and 11th free throws of the second half and sealed the game for Boone County.

The Valkyries did put three of its seniors – McGreal (15), Clemons (13), Peabody (12) – in double figures in the losing effort. Campbell pulled down a team-high ten rebounds, while other seniors Hannah Washle and Katie Bishop combined for one point, one rebound and one assist. Washle played limited minutes due to foul trouble. Bishop only logged a shade over two minutes of playing time.

For Boone County (23-5), Moss lived up to her billing and was a dominant force on the floor. Her final line included 17 points, 16 rebounds, seven steals, five assists, and one blocked shot. Highly touted recruit and the daughter of NFL Pro Bowl wide receiver Randy Moss, Syndey Moss was 7-of-16 from the field and had a game-high seven offensive boards.

Moss and Nash were forces down low and opened up the outside game late in the game, as Browning and Shrout were 4-of-8 from behind the arc in the fourth quarter, after the sharp-shooting duo was a dismal 1-of-12 throughout the first three quarters.

Those four Lady Rebels – Moss (17), Nash (13), Browning (11), and Shrout (10) – reached double figures and combined for 51 of their team’s 55 total point output.

The Lady Rebels, who have now won 17 of its past 20 games, outrebounded SHA 40-31 and forced 21 Valkyrie turnovers – both uncharacteristic numbers for a Sacred Heart team that had won four in a row and nine of its past ten games coming into Wednesday’s contest.

Prior to the game’s tip-off, it was an emotional night for the Valkyrie basketball team, as it honored one of the most successful groups of seniors in the history of the SHA program. Moir said that despite the lengthy ceremony, she did not think it played a factor in the eventual outcome.

“I think a couple of them got pretty amped (before the game started), but there were moments during the game where I thought we looked unstoppable,” said Moir. “Late in the third and early in the fourth quarter, I thought we looked awesome. So I think that may have affected us coming out of the gun, but that didn’t bare into winning or losing the ballgame.”

Sacred Heart (20-5) will play its regular season finale on Saturday at Bullitt East, before taking on Waggener in the 27th District Tournament semifinals on Feb. 22. Moir said she expects her team to bounce back and keep the feeling of losing such a tough game in the back of their minds.

Said Moir: “We’ll regroup and just get into practice and work on situations, and try to get better. That’s all we can do. We talked to the girls and said, ‘remember this feeling.’ Luckily this wasn’t the last game of the year and we just have to get back in here and work a little harder.”


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