MSJ mounts comeback, slips by Eagles

ARLINGTON - In a nail-biter of a game Tuesday night the Arlington girls basketball team fell to Mount St. Joseph's Academy in a game that was closer than the 57-51 final.

With 27.3 seconds left to play, senior captain Rayleen Sherman - who had 22 points and seven rebounds - got an inbounds pass back and buried a 3-pointer to pull Arlington (2-5-0) within two. That's as close as the Eagles would get though as MSJ's Megan Eaton and Claire Schmelzenback each knocked down a pair of free throws over the last 12.9 seconds to secure the win.

Tuesday night's game was the second close contest the teams have played. The last time the two teams met on Jan. 11 at MSJ it was the Eagles who came away with a narrow 57-55 victory.

Following the game, MSJ coach Dan Elliott said it seems like the team is beginning to hit their stride.

"They've really come together over these last three games," said Elliott. "At the beginning of the season we kind of struggled at points. We were playing well at certain times, but certain times we showed that we could actually be a very good team. Today they really put it together."

MSJ junior Claire Schmelzenback led all scorers with 23 points and also had five rebounds and two steals.

Senior center Alex Reedy also had a good night for the Mounties (5-3-0) recording a double-double with 14 points and 20 rebounds.

"Alex Reedy's been kind of in a slump for the first three games and she really broke out today," said Elliott. "She's always had 10 to 12 rebounds. Today she really hit the offensive boards and put them back in for us."

Eaton also reached double figures with 11 points and had five boards.

The Eagles started off strong, scoring nine unanswered points. The Mounties then went on a run of their own, scoring five points as the end of the first quarter approached. But with the game clock winding down sophomore guard Molly Elwell - who had 10 points on the night - hit a buzzer beater from well behind the arc to give Arlington the 12-5 lead.

Arlington took a 39-36 lead into the fourth quarter, but free throws hurt the Eagles as MSJ went 8 for 12 from the line in the period.

Foul trouble also plagued the Eagles throughout the game as three of their starters fouled out of the game.

"The core of them played good it's just foul trouble. We can't play without continuity. We have a short bench so five girls have to play the majority of the minutes. It's unfortunate, but that's the way it is with a short bench," said Arlington coach Larry Andrews. "I was without Jennah (Lacoste) the whole fourth quarter and a little bit of the third. She fouled out. And then I was without Julia (Lacoste) for half the fourth quarter so. It was a great game. I was happy with some of things that our bench players did. I mean they kept us in it."


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