Heart-breaking loss for Warriors

Published 2:55 am Wednesday, January 24, 2018

By Kevin Eckleberry


The LaGrange Academy Warriors lost an overtime heart-breaker to Notre Dame Academy on Tuesday.

LaGrange Academy tied it late in regulation on a basket by Daniel Swann, but it was Notre Dame walking away with a 44-42 victory in a GISA Region 1-AA game.

Trailing by four in the closing moments of overtime, the Warriors made things interesting.

After Swann made two free throws with six seconds left to cut Notre Dame’s lead to two, LaGrange Academy came up with the steal, but a potential game-tying shot missed the mark at the buzzer.

Mason Brown led the Warriors with 13 points, and Swann did some solid work inside and added 10 points.

Riley Hess made two 3-pointers and scored six points, and Alex Wilson also had six points.

While it was a tough loss for the Warriors, head coach Will Long was proud of the effort, particularly in the offensive end.

“I can’t ask for a better effort defensively,” Long said. “I know their guards are very athletic, very quick.”

Long added that “we held Notre Dame to 12 first-half points, a team that’s been in the 50s and 60s. If that’s not a good defensive effort, I don’t know what is.”

The Warriors appeared to have things in control thanks to an impressive stretch in the third quarter.

LaGrange Academy was clinging to a three-point lead when it went on an 8-0 run to go up 31-20 with 1:20 left in the third quarter.

Hess capped the run with back-to-back 3-pointers, and the Warriors had an 11-point lead.

Notre Dame fought back to cut LaGrange Academy’s lead to 31-25 through three quarters, and it continued to surge in the final period.

Notre Dame scored the first 10 points of the fourth quarter, and it had a 35-31 lead with less than three minutes to play.

The Warriors weren’t done.

After Brown scored with 45 seconds left to make it a one-point game, Notre Dame made one-of-two free-throw attempts, and LaGrange Academy got the ball back trailing by two.

Swann got the ball inside, and he scored with 27 seconds remaining to tie it at 36-36.

Notre Dame got three shot attempts in the final seconds, but all of them missed, so it was on to overtime.

Notre Dame led by as many as five points in overtime period before Ujwal Modi made two free throws with 27 seconds left.

After Notre Dame made one free throw, LaGrange Academy got within two on Swann’s two free throws with six seconds left.

The Warriors had a chance to tie it or even win it with a 3-pointer after the steal, but it wasn’t meant to be.

In Tuesday’s girls’ game, Notre Dame pulled away in the second half for a 41-33 win.

Trailing by six, the Warriors got within three late in the third quarter on a Kelsey Cotton 3-pointer, but they were down 30-23 heading into the final period.

After Notre Dame went up by 11, LaGrange Academy rallied to get within six on a Ruthie Kelsey basket with 4:46 to play.

The Lady Warriors continued to hang around, and they got as close as five with 3:40 left on Kelsey’s fourth 3-pointer.

Notre Dame’s lead was seven when LaGrange Academy’s Megan Allen scored after pulling down an offensive rebound with 1:30 to play.

The Lady Warriors didn’t score again, though.

Kelsey, a talented eighth-grader, led LaGrange Academy with 16 points.