The Yellow Jackets knew there would be a battle having lost by only three points in Oakland during the previous meeting against Southern Garrett.
Moorefield Girls Basketball (4-6) took control for two-thirds of last Thursday’s contest in the Hive holding the lead with four minutes remaining before the Rams (7-0) rallied to remain undefeated with an 11-nil run to close the game including seven free throws down the stretch to win 60-48.
“We expected it to be a hard game. We just played in a Christmas tournament. We played Lewis County and Bridgeport and they played the same type of physical basketball we knew we would see down here. Fortunately we got the wins there and said look, you are going to have to play hard. Being pushed around, we knew it was going to be rougher here than at home and I thought we handled it well. We are 7-0 now and three or four of our games have been comeback wins,” Southern Garrett coach Rodger Bowman stated.
“We went 16-for-20 from the foul line and that’s what we preach. Make the foul shots, because the foul line will win the game for you. I am very proud of this group, they bust their butts and it is fun to coach them.”
Southern Garrett lost the ball out of play to begin the game, then Moorefield’s Anna Riggleman collected an offensive rebound and passed to Madison McGregor who was called for a walk.
The Rams struck first with a jumper by Laina Holler at the 7:10 mark.
Under pressure, the Yellow Jackets lost the ball out of bounds and Southern Garrett hit the rim with Moorefield’s Gianna Fair snatching the rebound.
Moorefield missed two field goals with rebounds by Remington Hinkle and Southern Garrett’s Brooke Davis leading to her own field goal at 6:17 putting the Rams ahead 4-0.
On ensuing possession, Moorefield’s Madison McGregor was fouled during a 3-pointer attempt and made all three free throws to make it 4-3 at 5:59.
Moorefield set a trap and Rams ball handler McKenzie Wilt lost control of the ball with it deflecting off the Yellow Jackets out of play, then Southern Garrett committed a turnover on a five-second inbound violation.
Hinkle scored an old-fashioned three-point play giving the Yellow Jackets a 6-4 lead with 5:33 left in the first period.
Southern Garrett equalized the score seven seconds later on a layup by Wilt off an assist from Davis.
Davis swiped the ball and the ensuing shot hit the rim, but it was corralled by Holler for a putback and a Rams lead, 8-6.
Over the next two minutes, Moorefield lost the ball twice and the Rams hit the rim thrice before the Yellow Jackets garnered one point on a free throw from Lindsey Rinker at the 3:08 mark.
Southern Garrett took a 10-7 lead at the 2:28 mark on two free throws by Holler, then Moorefield answered with a jumper by Hinkle off an assist from Rinker.
Fair and McGregor helped with several jump ball situations, then Rinker drilled a 3-pointer with 1:08 left in the first period to take a 12-10 lead.
Moorefield’s Isabelle Nesbit collected defensive rebound, but Rams’ Davis swiped the ball and dished to Emilee Tasker for a bucket.
McGregor fed Fair for a jumper inside the paint with four seconds remaining which gave Moorefield a 14-12 edge.
Southern Garrett started the second period with a 3-pointer by Holler, then Davis snatched a defensive rebound and Josilyn Evans hit a jumper to take a 17-14 lead at 7:24.
McGregor grabbed an offensive rebound and was fouled leading to a pair of free throws.
McGregor blocked a shot, then Davis drew a foul and added one foul shot.
Riggleman tied the game on a layup for the Yellow Jackets, then Rinker swiped the ball and scored on the breakaway to take the lead, 20-18 at the 5:38 mark and pumped up the crowd waving her arms shouting “let’s go”.
“We wasted a lot of energy in the third quarter getting shots and not scoring, then fourth quarter we didn’t cover those two threes. They did a great job covering Madison [McGregor] limiting her shot attempts,” Moorefield coach Paul Keplinger remarked.
“They are a well-coached program. I have great respect for that program. From former coach Bosley to coach Bowman now that program is always a contender for Maryland state championships.”
After a timeout, Riggleman knocked the ball loose and Rinker collected the turnover with a pass to Rinker, who was blocked by Davis.
The Rams last the ball out of bounds, then Moorefield missed two field goals with Fair making one of the rebounds and Southern Garrett missed one shot with McGregor hauling in the carom leading to two free throws by Riggleman at 3:47, 22-18.
A minute later, Jordyn Warnick notched a 3-pointer to pull the Rams within one point.
Tasker made a steal, but Southern Garrett failed to convert and Fair snatched the rebound.
McGregor assisted Fair on a basket to take a 24-21 lead with 2:14 remaining in the half.
Evans scored two free throws for the Rams on the ensuing series, but Moorefield responded with a jumper by Rinker.
Both teams missed field goals, then Evans added another foul shot with 1:02 remaining.
Hinkle dished to Rinker for a 3-pointer as the Yellow Jackets carried a 29-24 advantage into halftime.
Fair blocked a shot and both teams missed baskets with Hinkle grabbing both rebounds to close out the half.
Moorefield’s Anna Riggleman and Southern Garrett’s Hannah Owens locked up for a jump ball to commence the third period, then Riggleman collided with Davis.
After the collision, Moorefield retained possession with Hinkle knocking down a jumper at 7:07.
The Rams answered with a shot just inside the perimeter line by Holler.
Hinkle hit a jumper on the next Yellow Jackets series to gain a 33-26 lead at the 6:30 mark.
There was no scoring for the following four minutes as Southern Garrett missed seven field goals and the Yellow Jackets missed five times, meanwhile Fair blocked two Rams attempts.
Southern Garrett closed the third period on a 6-2 run cutting the Moorefield lead down to 35-32 entering the final stanza.
Evans hit a jumper at the 2:21 mark and Holler made two free throws at 1:48 and Davis scored off a turnover with 22 seconds to go, while Moorefield’s McGregor notched a field goal after a walk with one minute on the clock.
Fair ended the third period with a blocked shot for the Yellow Jackets.
Davis appeared shocked to be whistled for a double dribble starting off the fourth period for the Rams, then Moorefield’s Hinkle grabbed an offensive rebound and passed to Lexi Gilhuys finishing with an old-fashioned three-point play at 7:09 creating a 38-32 edge.
Evan hit a jumper for Southern Garrett on the next possession, then the Yellow Jackets responded with a layup by Rinker.
Owens netted an old-fashioned three-point play at the 6:23 mark to pull the Rams closer, 40-37.
It took about 16 seconds for Riggleman to slice through the Southern Garrett defense for a layup.
The Rams gained momentum scoring six points in the next minute and change to take a 43-42 lead with 4:36 to go as Davis hit two jumpers and Owens provided a putback for the edge as Moorefield missed two field goals during that time.
The Yellow Jackets regained the lead at the 4:16 mark on a 3-pointer by McGregor creating a 45-43 score.
Moorefield hosts Strasburg this Saturday night, hoping to avenge a loss on the road from this past weekend.