Trailing by one point with half-a-second left in Monday’s game at Holy Name, Fairview’s Elizabeth Williams heaved a desperation shot at the buzzer from near midcourt. The 3-pointer fell short of the basket and the Green Wave completed their come-from-behind 38-37 victory.
The final quarter of the team’s Great Lakes Conference battle was just that, as Holy Name used physical play and loctite defense to chip away at the Warriors lead and secure the win.
“I’m proud of the fact that they didn’t quit playing,” Fairview coach Andrea Petta said of her team’s effort. “Our season ended last year in this gym so we are familiar with the gym and they didn’t let that bother them. They came in ready, … it just got into a crunch-time situation and that’s the way it turned out.”
Fairview led for the majority of the game, but a 13-6 advantage in the fourth quarter and a 21-point game from Holy Name junior Becky Styers capped the comeback. More specifically, Styers’ nine-point fourth – which included the final five points of the game – made the difference.
Trailing 37-33 late in the game, Styers knocked down a three that cut the deficit to one point. Then, with just seconds left, she converted both free throws in a 1-and-1 to give the Wave their final 38-37 lead. Styers finished 2-of-4 from three, 3-of-10 from inside and 9-of-10 on free throws, adding five assists and five steals.
“We knew coming into this game that they would be tough to beat,” Holy Name coach Kim Luthman said. “We’re facing a lot of (situations) where (Styers) is faceguarded, … so we’ve been working with her on being the screener and looking to get open after setting screens and different options in the offense like that that will get her open.”
Fairview had chances in the fourth quarter to put its lead out of reach with free throws, but went 0-of-5 in the quarter and 1-of-11 in the game.
In the first half, the Warriors got off to a quick start thanks to active hands on defense and second-chance opportunities. Junior guard Jada Witnik scored all 11 of her points in the first half, making three of the five 3-pointers she attempted and putting Fairview up 25-15 at halftime. She was held scoreless with just one shot attempt in the second half.
Fairview made the most of opportunities in the first half, battling for offensive rebounds, taking quick shots when open and aggressively driving to the basket when a lane presented itself.
“We don’t have any one player,” Petta said. “We have a bunch of players who, on any given night, can be our leading scorer. They all recognize that, they’re okay with that. They take what’s given to them.”
Senior Gabby Biggs (six points and seven rebounds), junior Hailey Weaver (six points, three rebounds and three blocks) and junior Maeve Mesaros (four points and six rebounds) also contributed for Fairview.
The Warriors are back in action at 1:30 p.m. Saturday against Elyria Catholic as they continue their first season in the GLC.
Contact this reporter at email@example.com or 440-871-5797.