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MONROE—Despite a gutsy second half performance on Friday night, the Adams Central Lady Jets (3-9) fell just short of the win as they fell to the Heritage Patriots (9-3) by a score of 41-38 at the Hangar.
"Overall, I thought our second half performance was one of the best stretches we've played in all season," explained AC head coach Sam Beer. "Heritage is a great team, and the way we were able to come back in the second half the way we did against them was great."
Trailing 22-11 at halftime, the Lady Jets came out in the third quarter on an 11-0 run led by three consecutive three-pointers including two from senior guard Abby Busse and the other from junior Sarah Fiechter to tie the score at 22-22 just minutes into the third.
Desperately in need of a basket to stop the run, the Lady Patriots looked to their two juniors Kendall Knape and Tattenai Hall for offense as they combined for 33 of the squad's 41 total points in the game.
After a few traded baskets by both teams, AC managed to end the third quarter cutting the deficit to two at 33-31.
The final quarter proved to be a battle as the tempo of the game slowed down to a halfcourt contest.
Unfortunately, the Lady Patriots managed to shine all night in the halfcourt with the inside presence of Hall as she managed to break a tie with a hard-earned basket with just under four minutes to play to give Heritage a 35-33 lead.
The very next Adams Central possession, senior forward Brionna Case had her shot blocked by Knapke, who ended up with three on the night.
The next Heritage possession featured Knapke as she managed to penetrate left along the baseline and hit a 10-foot runner to help give the Lady Patriots the lead for good at 39-35 with 2:56 to play.
Case redeemed herself on the next possession as she connected from long distance to cut the lead to 39-38.
After a couple of made free throws by Knapke to make it 41-38, Adams Central had two opportunities in the final ten seconds to force overtime, but came up short on both as the Lady Patriots went on to win by that score.
One of the notable adjustments Adams Central made coming out to start the second half was stretching their 2-3 zone to the halfcourt extended.
"One of the big things we wanted to do differently in the second half was make them work to get in their sets," said Beer. "Much of that big run we had to start off the second half came from our ability speed them up on the offensive end and not let them get comfortable."
The first quarter featured a dominant performance by Hall as she had eight points to help the Pats gain a 13-6 advantage after one.