Lady Bucks respond in the clutch and find a way to win

Published 5:00 am Thursday, February 22, 2024

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THREE RIVERS — It’s been a roller coaster type season so far for the Buchanan girls’ basketball team. 

Gabe Miller’s Lady Bucks have battled injuries, illness and inconsistent play all season and Tuesday’s 51-50 win at Three Rivers was another example of that. 

Luckily Buchanan, now 9-8 overall, found a way to win this one in the waning seconds. 

The Bucks trailed Three Rivers 50-49 with 39.2 seconds left in the game after the Lady Cats’ Jennaya Decker hit the second of two free-throw attempts. 

Buchanan’s LaBria Austin, who led her team in the scoring column with 22 points, came up with a key steal and fed the ball into the post to junior forward Cameron Carlson for the winning basket with 4.4 seconds left. 

“We have a lot of girls fulfilling roles they aren’t used to. I’m proud of them tonight for finding a way to pull out this game,” Miller said. 

“Three Rivers is a team that’s really athletic and they were physical. I told our girls we had to make that extra pass and get back and play defense.”

Buchanan appeared to be on its way to putting the contest away after building a 47-37 cushion on Three Rivers after three quarters. 

Three Rivers whittled its deficit to eight, 47-39, just three seconds into the fourth quarter on a pair of Allie McGlothlen free-throw tosses. 

A three pointer just seconds later by Jennaya Decker lessened Three Rivers’ deficit to just five, 47-42 with 4:10 left. 

Austin’s layup for Buchanan a few seconds after that put the Bucks back on top by seven, 49-42. 

Three Rivers, however, used a 7-0 run to even the game up at 49-49. Highlighting the quick spurt for the Lady Cats was McGlothlen with four consecutive free-throw tosses and Decker with a triple.

Joining Austin in double-digit scoring for Buchanan was Maddie Young with 10. Caitlyn Horvath added seven  for the Lady Bucks, who made 21 field-goal attempts, including five triples, and 4-of-5 free-throw tosses. 

Decker keyed Three Rivers’ offensive production with 23 points followed by McGlothlen with 16. Lanie Glass chipped in six points for the Lady Cats (3-15) and Annabelle Gill added three. 

Three Rivers finished with 19 field-goal attempts, including a pair of triples, and 10-for-16 at the free-throw stripe.   

Three Rivers scored six of the game’s first 10 points for a quick 6-4 lead. But a three-point field goal, by Buchanan’s Austin gave the Lady Bucks a 7-6 lead. Consecutive baskets by the Lady Cats Maddie Glass and Emily Ventrone increased the home team’s advantage to 10-7.

But Buchanan rallied and took a late 16-14 lead in the first quarter on the strength of five consecutive points from Austin. 

McGlothlen;s layup near the end of the stanza put Three Rivers on top 18-16. 

A 12-6 Buchanan run in the second quarter put the visitors up 28-24 at halftime. The Bucks got a pair of buckets from Austin during the period and one each out of Young, Pruett, Berry and Carlson. 

Triples from Young, Austin and Horvath in the third quarter helped Buchanan outscore Three Rivers 19-13 and put the Bucks in front 45-33 after the third quarter.  

Austin added six rebounds and Pruett furnished five for the Lady Bucks.