The Adrian team show off the third place trophy after playing Saturday in the 1A state basketball tournament. Team members include, left to right, in the front row, Carlee Morton, Mariah McLay, Anna Hutchings, Lauren Barraza, Selina Villarreal. Standing are Morgan Bayes, Coach Gene Mills, Sundee Speelmon, Shyanne Allaire, Asst. Coach Kelly Skerjanec, Sadie Speelmon, Kaitlyn Remick (manager), Grace Nichols, Asst. Coach Madi Purnell, Grace Morton, Roby Young, Asst. Coach Kevin Purnell, and Erin Nielson. (Photo courtesy of Bob Radford)
By John L. Braese
BAKER – Five seconds was all it took to derail the Adrian girls basketball team last week from what seemed a sure shot at a state title.
The girls had been in control the whole way in quarterfinal action against the Country Christian Cougars, leading by as many as 12 points.
Then came the fourth quarter, the Lopes owning a six-point lead.
With just 18 seconds, the Cougars cut the lead to one but fouled and put the Lopes on the free throw line with a chance to pad their lead.
One shot and a miss.
A second shot, a miss, and then a Cougar rebound.
With 4.8 seconds left in the game, Cougar Hannah Fincher sank a last shot, enough to go up by a single point and take the game.
The Friday game was sandwiched between two wins that would eventually give the Adrian girls a third-place finish at the state playoffs.
The trip down Interstate 84 started with a win over second-ranked North Douglas on Thursday in the quarterfinals. With nine Adrian players putting points on the board, the Lopes downed the Warriors, 46-33.
The nerves showed for both teams as offense was hard to come by in the first eight minutes of the game. After a pair of free throws by Adrian put the first points on the board, each team could only find the basket and as the quarter ended, Adrian led, 6-4.
As the nerves settled, the baskets started to flow in the second quarter. With less than three minutes off the clock, the Antelopes relinquished the lead at the 11-10 mark.
After a series of baskets from both, the score stood at 17-17 at the half.
The Lopes retook the lead just 24 seconds into the second half off a jump shot by Mariah McLay. Adrian was able to hold the lead until the Warriors again knotted up the score at 23. As the fourth quarter started, the Antelopes maintained a slim 29-25 margin.
In the fourth, the Adrian offense took over, scoring 17 points while taking the win.
In the victory, the Lopes capitalized on North Douglas turnovers, converting these into 31 points.
With nine players scoring, no Antelopes put up double figures with Morgan Bayes and 8 points leading the charge. Bayes also picked up player of the game for Adrian.
Then it was time to take on Country Christian, with Adrian leading 17-12 after one period and by 35-25 at the half.
Adrian was on cruise control in the third quarter and held a 43-37 margin with the final eight minutes to go. Then the final-second drama and a 55-54 loss upended Adrian hopes.
For the game, Carlee Morton scored just under half the Adrian points, accounting for 22 and picking up the Player of the Game honors for the Antelopes.
The Lopes shot just under 44 percent from the field for the contest and 38 percent from the free throw line, going 8-for-21. Both teams had 21 points off the other’s turnovers.
The Antelope team rebounded the next day, battling the Honkers of Arlington.
Selina Villareal put the first points on the board for Adrian and after her basket, the Lopes continued on to a 12-8 first quarter lead.
Holding Arlington to eight points in the second quarter, the Antelopes kept up with the scoring and ended the first half with a 25-16 margin.
The two teams came out to start the second half slowly, each team only scoring nine points.
The Antelopes again started the offensive show in the final period, putting up 16 points and cruising to a third-place trophy.
Villareal and Hutchings both had 12 points in the game to lead Adrian. Morton, with 10 points, was honored as Adrian’s player of the game.
With the final game of the season behind them, the Antelopes end with a 25-4 overall record and a perfect 13-0 High Desert League record. Adrian will see the loss of five starters from this year’s team through graduation.
Adrian 3 11 12 17 -46
North Douglas 4 13 8 8 -33
Adrian 15 2 10-24 46: Hutchings 3 0 0-2 6; Barraza 0 0 1-2 1; Morton 0 0 3-4 3; McLay 1 1 2-2 7; Villareal 2 0 2-4 6; Nielson 1 0 0-0 2; Bayes 2 1 1-4 8; Speelmon 2 0 0-0 4; Allaire 4 0 1-6 9. North Douglas 9 4 3-8 33.
Adrian 17 18 8 11 -54
Country Christian 12 13 12 18 -55
Adrian 17 4 8-21 54: Barraza 1 0 2-7 4; Morton 5 3 3-3 22; McLay 0 1 1-2 4; Villareal 1 0 2-6 4; Nielson 2 0 0-0 4; Sundee Speelmon 4 0 0-0 8; Allaire 4 0 0-2 8. Country Christian 19 2 11-22 55.
Arlington 8 8 9 11 -36
Adrian 12 13 9 16 -50
Arlington 10 1 13-26 36. Adrian 11 5 13-33 50: Hutchings 2 2 2-2 12; Barraza 0 0 2-4 2; Morton 1 2 2-2 10; McLay 1 0 0-0 2; Villareal 3 1 3-8 12; Bayes 0 0 1-6 1; Nichols 0 0 1-2 1; Sundee Speelmon 1 0 0-0 2; Allaire 3 0 2-9 8.