CANTON, MI (January 11, 2019) – It didn’t look like it would be close at all, but a furious second-half comeback by Novi Christian gave PCA fans a scare but clutch free throw shooting down the stretch preserved a 49-43 home victory for Plymouth Christian.
The Eagles dominated early – they led after one, 17-3. With a staunch defense, PCA limited the visiting Warriors to only three free throws. Harlee Collins and Anna Fernandez hit a couple of big three-pointers to ignite the offense.
Second quarter action saw PCA add to their lead, albeit only one point, 29-14. At the break, Anna Fernandez led the Eagles with 16 points with 12 coming on four three-pointers. Harlee Collins had four.
Novi Christian was paced by Chanell Lochrie who had nine.
The Warriors began their comeback in the third quarter. The tandem of Lochrie and center, Rachel Bause could not be stopped. They seemed to make every field goal attempt. And when they were fouled, they knocked down their free throws.
PCA maintained a 10-point lead, but a late Novi Christian hoop cut the lead after three to 38-31 in favor of the Eagles.
That set-up the dramatic 4th quarter.
Down seven, Novi Christian employed a half-court trap that disrupted PCA’s rhythm and forced several turnovers. Those turnovers led to Warrior baskets and they chipped away at the Eagle lead.
The threes that were falling earlier in the game, rimmed out during a critical spell midway through the fourth. And after battling throughout the second half, Novi Christian tied the game at 43 when Bause made two free throws with 1:31 left.
Ariela Boboc was fouled with 1:29 to go to put both teams in a bonus situation. This game would test their free throw shooting and their mettle.
Boboc passed the first test, making two shots, giving PCA a 45-43 lead.
A Novi Christian turnover gave PCA the ball back with a minute left. Working the clock, the PCA guards ran their motion offense and ultimately drew a Warrior foul.
With :51 seconds left, Isabel Mossel calmly sank a pair of free throws to extend the Eagle lead to 47-43.
Novi Christian pushed the ball down court and put the ball in the hands of their big center. Bause drove to the basket but Harlee Collins, giving up a foot and 50+ lbs, stepped in front of her and took a charge.
It was the second charging call that Collins drew in the game and this one was a game changer.
The Eagles got possession with 13 ticks left.
The Warriors fouled Anna Fernandez with :11 seconds left, and the cool freshman made them both to seal the win for the Eagles, 49-43.
The thrilling win was the third in a row for PCA, who was led by Anna Fernandez with 21 points, including 5 of 8 from three-point range. Isabel Mossel had 9, Harlee Collins had 7 and the front line of Ella Godin, Ariela Boboc and Rachel Costello had 4 a piece.
Boboc and Godin led the way in rebounding, with 13 and 9 respectively.
Novi Christian was led by Chanelle Lochrie with 21 and Rachel Bause with 20.
The Eagles will try to continue their fine play with another home game on Tuesday, against Inter city Baptist. ICB won an earlier meeting in December 38-29 at the Allen Park campus. Tip time is 7pm.