The Coatesville Lady Raiders girls basketball team took a nine-point lead into the final quarter of play last Thursday night and were then forced to hold off a furious rally by the Bishop Shanahan Lady Eagles. As the horn sounded, ending the contest, Coatesville was able to finally breathe a sigh of relief as the Lady Raiders gritted out the final period rally for a 67-66 win.
"I'm upset with my girls," said a relieved Courtney Harris coach. "We have to finish games off and put teams away. We're gambling at the wrong times and we have to play better team defense. We tend to let teams hang around. But a win is a win."
Shanahan came in and managed to hang close for most of the contest. Except for the third period lull, the Lady Eagles gave Coatesville all they could handle. Just when it looked like the Lady Raiders were ready to take charge of the contest the visitors were able to snatch the momentum and swing the game in their favor during the final eight minutes of play.
After the first eight minutes, the Lady Eagles held a 13-12 lead as Kate Wisniewski put in six of the visitors' points with Chelsea Manchester adding four. Amber White paced the Raiders with eight points.
The back and forth play continued into the second quarter. With Siobane Kane tallying five points, Wisniewski, four, and Manchester, three, Shanahan held a 30-28 lead at the half-time intermission.
White tacked on seven points for the Lady Raiders and Shaquira Timmons added seven more to support her efforts.
Kane opened the third quarter scoring on a three-point play. Kane hit a two-pointer and converted on the foul shot as Shanahan led by five, 33-28.
Baskets by Stephanie Jones on a jumper and a followup by White from underneath helped give the Lady Raiders a 37-35 lead, but Wisniewski would knot the game at 37.
Jasmine Lewis hit a jumper from the foul line for Coatesville and a steal and layup by White made it 41-37. A steal by White then set up two foul shots at the other end with White converting both for a 43-37 Coateville edge.
White would go on to tally 12 points in the quarter as Timmons added six and Lewis four as the Lady Raiders increased its lead to 52-43 heading into the final eight minutes of play.
Buckets by Manchester and Wisniewski to start the quarter brought the Lady Eagles to within five at 52-47, but White countered with a three-pointer from the top of the arc.
Then back came Shanahan. A foul line jumper would bring the Lady Eagles to within four at 57-53 on a jumper. Manchester followed with another two and it was 57-55. Torrie Burt continued the run and knotted the game at 57 on a jumper as the two squads battled back and forth.
Timmons gave Coatesville a three-point lead at 63-60 by making two of two from the foul line, but Shanahan responded as Manchester sank her two free throws after a Lady Raider foul.
A Coatesville turnover and Shanahan again took the lead, 64-63, as Wisniewski scored. A basket by Lewis gave Coatesville the lead back at 65-64. Manchester would foul out with 54 seconds left, sending White to the foul line, where she converted both foul opportunities and a 67-64 lead as the seconds ticked away.
There were two foul shots by Alex Sagnor, her only points of the game, but they couldn't have come at a more crucial time, bringing Shanahan within one point, at 67-66.