Central High School girls' basketball was back at the Patch Tuesday night for a matchup with district foe Shelbyville. It wasn't the prettiest victory, but the Lady Raiders kept their home winning streak alive with a 57-52 defeat of the Eaglettes.
"It had a lid on it tonight. We couldn't make a layup, couldn't make out side shots, couldn't make a free throw," Coach Joe Pat Cope said afterward. "I thought once we got it kind of close to even we were able to go to that zone and trap out of it."
CHS struggled to hit different shots through much of the game. Rebounding was also an issue for the Lady Raiders, allowing extra opportunities for the Eaglettes to get the ball back and maintain their lead.
Shelbyville came ready to play from the start, hitting an early three-pointer for the game's first basket. Following four rapid-fire points from Bella Vinson, CHS briefly took a 4-3 lead, but a back-and-forth first quarter followed, with the Eaglettes up 19-18 at its finish.
The two teams continued to trade leads through much of the second. Midway through the quarter, Jacey Vaughn hit two free throws to put the Lady Raiders up 24-23. This would be the team's last lead of the second and third quarters, with Shelbyville pushing back and taking a 32-28 lead at halftime.
After finishing the third quarter down 45-42, the Lady Raiders continued to lag behind the Eaglettes until the home stretch of the fourth. Following a bucket from Kiya Ferrell to tighten Shelbyville's lead to one, Abby Morgan put CHS back in front 48-47 with 3:36 on the clock. Morgan ultimately hit six points through the final minutes to secure the come-from-behind win.
"I think that we needed to pick up the rebounding and also keep our composure when they started fouling and knock down our free throws," Morgan said. "It just had to get up."
With the late-game comeback, the team's consecutive home game win streak continues. The Lady Raiders have not lost in the Patch since falling to Oakland in last February's region tournament.
Morgan led CHS offensively with 20 points. She was followed by Vinson's 17 points, with Vaughn coming in at 14. Ferrell finished with six points.