February 20th, 2021

SHA falls to Anderson County


Ed Peak

Staff Writer

SHA falls to Anderson County
Photo by Ed Peak

Coach Donna Moir looked drained of emotion. Disappointed. Sacred Heart had just lost a heart breaking 69-68 slugfest with No. 1 and still undefeated visiting Anderson County, Saturday.


The Valkyries fell victim to the Lady Bears Page Serafini 's deep right three point shot from about 25 feet that banked hard off the backboard and through the basket for the wining points with 4.2 seconds remaining.


Moir was pleased with the way her young team battled back and enthusiasm. But she wasn't happy with the out come. 


"We expect to win those games," said Moir. "Our kids are really upset. She made a great shot. Our scout said 40 of 52 shots are three pointers. We should have been out there."


A full court press by Sacred Heart (13-4) helped the Valkyries rally from a 12 point third quarter deficit. The Valkyries despite foul trouble got back into the game.


Anderson County (16-0) led 55-48 after a Amiya Jenkins layup with 6:12. SHA scored 10 straight points as Reagan Bender's three pointer completed the run with 4:05. Reserve Emi-Lee Howe came off the bench and made two quick steals for layups during the spurt.


Sacred Heart looked in control after Bender's reverse layup put the Valkyries up 66-61 with 1:29. The Lady Bearcats Jenkins who finished with 19 points completed a three point play and later she made one of two foul shots trimming the deficit to 67-66.


SHA's Maggie Montano made the second of two free throws of 14.8 to lead 68-66. After an Anderson County timeout that led to Serafini's ridiculous three.


"No, I did not call bank," said Serafini with a laugh. "I banked it. It's still three points." Serafini finished with 11 points and five rebounds. "I just knew we had to score and there wasn't much time left. I knew I had to get it up."


Sacred Heart (13-4) nearly made a miracle shot for the win as time expired. Triniti Ralston's three from about 40 feet went in and popped out just as time expired.


"We work on that play all the time. We call bank and look all discombobulated," said Anderson County coach Clay Birdwhistlel with a laugh. "We chuck it up there and it goes in every time."


The SHA press forced Anderson County into 20 turnovers and the Valkyries scored 22 points off those miscues.


"They do a really good job, give them credit," said Birdwhistel. "A lot of things we can't control affected our mental approach to the game which made that press even more effective. That can't happen with an upperclassmen team.


"Give Sacred Heart all the credit," said Birdwhistel. "They were throwing haymakers at us."

Anderson County shot 50 percent from the field (24 of 48) which included nine of 18 three pointers. Sophie Smith added 18 points and nine rebounds while Tiffani Riley added 11.


Ralston led SHA with 24 points and had three assist. She was 13 of 16 from the foul line but the rest of the Valkyries were four of 11. Bender finished with 13 points.


"We did a nice job to get back in game," said Moir. "We got a lot of good minutes out of a lot of people. We had three freshman on the floor one time. 

"Proud of the effort. But it comes down to free throws and we missed a lot of big ones.


"We're not here to play close," said Moir. "We're here to win. That's our mindset. We should be able to execute a little better at the end."



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