Clinging to a one-point lead, Branson denied Ash Grove three times in the final 30 seconds to win 45-44 on Thursday night.
CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS
“Some teams would rather be down one and have the ball trying to score,” said a pumped-up Bough. “I think we’d rather be up one and be on defense. I’m not just saying that because we have the lead. Our kids took pride in their defense at the end.”
Senior Moriah Dapprich scored the final two of her game-high 17 points to give Branson a 45-44 lead with less than 30 seconds remaining.
Ash Grove then ran through its offense but had a shot attempt blocked out of bounds with 1.9 seconds left on the clock. Dapprich would knock an extra .7 seconds off the clock by deflecting the Ash Grove in-bound pass away.
After timeouts from both teams with 1.2 seconds remaining, Jessie Barton stole Ash Grove’s in-bounds and time expired to seal the win for Branson.
“We weren’t going to be able to throw anything to the backside of the floor because of Dapprich and then there was someone (guarding) the in-bounds,” said Ash Grove coach Brent Milleson. The Lady Pirates were trying to in-bound the ball near the wing area in front of their own bench on the final play. “We tried to set a double screen to open a couple of shooters, but we just didn’t screen it very well. But here again, Branson’s athletic and they made a nice play.”
A runner from junior Jamie Mauss put Ash Grove ahead 44-43 with a minute to go.
On its ensuing possession, Branson committed a turnover but took the ball right back – a common theme in the game – as Ash Grove tried to get set up on offense.
With a second chance, Branson called timeout and set-up Dapprich’s game-winning basket in the post.
“We knew we were going to go to Moriah at some point, get her to the bucket,” Bough said. “She made her shot. That’s her.”
Ash Grove’s Halee Cashio had 12 points.
Milleson said the difference may have come in transition, where his squad frequently gave the ball right back to Branson after getting turnovers of their own.
“It wasn’t necessarily our last turnover that got us,” Milleson said. “It was our turnovers in transition throughout the second half that probably cost us the game.
“We made some uncharacteristic plays, and Branson probably had an influence on that to a degree. But I was disappointed with how we turned it over.”
Ash Grove trailed 38-32 midway through the fourth quarter. But 3-pointers from Cashio and Madi Johnson, then a 3-point play by Katie Skelton got the Class 3 Lady Pirates within 42-41 at the 2-minute mark.
“This one needs to sting for about 12-14 hours, then we need to find a way to come to the practice court (Friday) and get better,” Milleson said.
Branson trailed 20-10 at one point in the first half. The Class 5 Lady Pirates then scored 20 of the game’s next 25 points to go ahead 30-25 in the third.
“I’m just really proud. I’m still on a high,” Bough said. “This is a big win for us because we know we beat a good ball club.”
Branson (13-5) plays Monday night at Parkview. Ash Grove (15-4) travels to Strafford next Thursday.
Branson 45, Ash Grove 44
Branson 9 13 12 11 --- 45
Ash Grove 10 14 8 12 --- 44
Branson – Moriah Dapprich 17, Sydney Shepherd 9, Emily Calovich 6, Hadley Blake 4, Jessie Barton 3, Ashley Forrest 3, Kellie Seaman 3
Ash Grove – Halee Cashio 12, Katie Skelton 8, Erin Weinreis 7, Madi Johnson 7, Jamie Mauss 7, Abby Arico 3
Mt. Vernon 53, Bolivar 48 (CONSOLATION GAME) PHOTOS
Mt. Vernon 11 18 9 15 --- 53
Bolivar 11 14 5 18 --- 48
Mt. Vernon – Audrey LaSalle 23, Mackenzie Farmer 20, Laynie Dake 4, Tamiaya Henderson 3, Megan Pope 2, Blair Tettenhorst 1
Bolivar – Shelby Roberts 13, Kaylie Rothdiener 13, Mary Beth Payne 7, Sammy Jacobson 6, Daiwa Emmert 5, Madison Campbell 2, Randi Hancock 2
Free throws: Bolivar 7-for-12, Mt. Vernon 10-for-17
Camdenton 81, Hillcrest 73 (3RD PLACE GAME) PHOTOS
Camdenton 20 21 22 18 --- 81
Hillcrest 25 16 18 14 --- 73
Hillcrest – Kelsie Cleeton 21, Kelbi Painter 19, Brittany Fisher 15, Kaycee Gerald 6, Kristin Todd 6, Alexis Cheek 4, Lily Beam 2
Free throws: Camdenton 13-for-21, Hillcrest 9-for-14