Peyton Sams buzzer beater topples Lady Warriors

Published 12:18 pm Wednesday, December 6, 2017

With 1.9 seconds on the clock and leading by two, the Happy Valley Lady Warriors had every reason to think they had the game won on Tuesday night against Sullivan Central in a Three Rivers Conference game at Bayless gymnasium.
Central’s Peyton Sams had other ideas as she caught the inbound pass beyond the three-point stripe and put up a prayer. That prayer was answered as her shot struck net at the buzzer to send the Warriors (2-5, 0-2 TRC) to a 54-52 defeat.
“We dug a hole early and weren’t executing on things we have worked on,” Lady Warriors head coach Larry Abel said. “We settled down and started executing, and I felt like the last three quarters we outplayed them. I told them at halftime that the one that made the most plays was going to win, and they had one more play that we did.”
HV trailed 16-8 after a poor shooting first quarter but outscored the Lady Cougars (2-2, 1-0 TRC) by five to cut the deficit to 27-24 at halftime with the help of three, treys from guard Adrienne Henegar.
Henegar scored 14 first-half points – finishing with 17 points – and hit on four 3-pointers.
The Warriors tied the game by the end of the third period, and Kaitlyn Roberts gave HV its first lead of the game with a deuce to open the fourth period.
“We gave up some key rebounds in the fourth quarter, one on the missed free throw,” Abel said. “They made one more play than us. I have really been challenging the girls to play with a lot of heart, and while I was disappointed for the loss, I was proud of the character they showed.”
Senior forward Haley Green then put in a bucket and a free throw to stake HV to a 41-36 lead in the early stage of the final stanza. Tianna Long extended the HV lead to 43-36 with a deuce and a seven-point Warrior run.
Sams and Olivia Absher traded free throws before Taylor Sanders hit a bucket for Central. Sams scored a deuce before a three-point play from Long once again gave the Warriors a 47-41 advantage, and after three free throws from Sanders and Abbey Crawford, it was a three-point game.
Central scored on a pair of buckets in the last minute from Sanders to make it a 52-51 game in favor of the Cougars but with 26 ticks on the clock Roberts sank a two-pointer on a driving layup in the paint for a one-point HV lead, but there remained 1.9 ticks.
Sanders finished with 17 points while Avery Leming added 15 to the Cougars ledger. For HV Roberts had 12 and Long 11.

Sullivan Central 54-52
Sullivan Central (54)
Sanders 17, Sams 9, Leming 15, Crawford 13.
Happy Valley (52)
Roberts 12, Henegar 17, Green 9, Long 11, Absher 1, Bunting 2.
Sullivan Central 16 11 9 18 – 54
Happy Valley 8 16 12 16 – 52
3-point goals : SC 7 (Sanders 1, Sams 2, Leming 4), HV 5 (Henegar 4, Roberts 1)

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