Lady Senators survive Clarke Prep

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 12, 2004

Morgan Academy could have saved money on its electric bill during Friday night’s game with the Clarke Prep Lady Gators.

After scoring just nine points through the first three periods, Morgan Academy tallied 11 of its 13 fourth-quarter points from the foul line and escaped with a sloppy 22-20 win over the Lady Gators. The Lady Senators survived the first round of the Pepsi Challenge at Morgan Academy.

Neither team shot the ball well from the floor the entire game, as the squads forged a 7-7 halftime tie. The teams managed just two points apiece in the third quarter and were knotted at 9 going into the final period. Morgan Academy finished 7-of-50 (14 percent) from the floor for the game.

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“That was the ugliest game I have ever seen,” Morgan Academy coach Robert Gartman said. “I don’t know what the problem was. It was almost like we were in a fog.”

The Lady Senators (5-1) awoke from their haze when they reached the foul line. Morgan Academy’s aim became true as the Lady Senators converted 11-of-17 from the charity stripe in the final eight minutes.

Morgan Academy trailed by four, 14-10, before rallying to take the lead. After being fouled in the backcourt, center Elizabeth Elliott drained a pair of foul shots to cut the margin to 14-12. Elliott followed with an 8-foot turnaround jumper from the top of the key to tie the game at 14 with 3:06 to go. Elliott finished with a team-high seven points, including five in the final period. Candace Ward added six, including three free throws in the fourth quarter.

After stripping the ball in the backcourt, guard Elizabeth Wood was fouled while driving to the basket. After missing her first charity shot, Wood made the second to put the Lady Senators up 15-14 with 2:49 remaining.

Cursey Oaks sank a pair of free throws to up the margin to 17-14. A Clarke Prep basket narrowed the difference to 17-16 with just under two minutes remaining. But Ward converted three foul shots and Cursey Oaks added another to make it a 21-18 lead with 53.1 seconds left. Another foul shot by Laura-Whitney Bennett made it 22-18 with 44.5 seconds left. Two free throws by Clarke Prep’s Beth Kania made it a two-point game, 22-20. A Morgan Academy turnover gave Clarke Prep a chance to tie the game, but a bad pass by the Lady Gators gave the ball back to Morgan Academy. The Lady Senators were unable to take advantage and Dunegan was fouled as time expired, sending her to the line. But Dunegan’s first free throw hit the right side of the rim and fell harmlessly to the ground, preserving the win for Morgan Academy.