Home Local Sports Archmere Academy girls basketball holds off furious Conrad rally, wins regular-season home...

Archmere Academy girls basketball holds off furious Conrad rally, wins regular-season home finale: Photo gallery

Brynn Bastian-Pastore splits a pair of Conrad defenders as the rushes the ball up court. Dialog photo/Mike Lang

CLAYMONT — Conrad and Archmere’s girls basketball teams had battled throughout a close first half, with the Auks taking a 24-20 lead into intermission. For the first three and a half minutes of the third quarter, it looked like the Auks had figured out how to pull away from the Red Wolves.

Archmere built an 11-point lead a few minutes into the third and had a 13-point advantage after Allison Lengkeek opened the fourth with a three-point shot. But the Red Wolves stormed back, thanks in large part to a smothering defense, and they got within one point before Archmere held on for a 47-45 victory on Senior Night at Moglia Fieldhouse.

One of those seniors, Sydney Boyd, helped the Auks grow their lead after halftime. A ball hit off her lower leg and rolled right to Lucy Oliver, who laid it into open the second-half scoring. Brigid Hamberger drained a three-pointer two minutes in, and Boyd followed with a steal and a more conventional assist to Oliver as the lead swiftly reached 11 points.

Hamberger and Oliver each added threes during the third, and the lead was 41-31 as the final stanza began.

After Lengkeek’s triple, Conrad went on a 6-0 run to cut the Auks’ lead to 44-37. Kiana Frawley picked up a steal and shot from in close for another two points. After a held ball gave the ball back to the Red Wolves, Cheinyah McCray found the net with an overhead four-footer, extending the run to 10 points. Oliver finally stopped the streak with a third-chance bucket with about 2:40 remaining.

That would be the Auks’ last field goal, and the final few minutes had the fans — and coaches and players — on the edge of their seats.

Eva Walker of the Red Wolves cranked up the drama with a baseline three with 2:19 to go. After an Archmere timeout, Conrad came up with a steal, but they missed on a three-point shot. Another Auks turnover resulted in one free throw for the Wolves’ Aurora Gillin with about 1:10 to go.

Conrad had only committed three team fouls to that point, which allowed the Auks to run the clock down to 16.6 seconds left before they went into the bonus. They were fortunate when, after missing the front end of the one-on-one, the ball rolled out of bounds off a Conrad player. Oliver hit the front end of her one-and-one, but her second shot was off target and rebounded by Conrad. They called timeout with 4.6 seconds left on the clock.

The Red Wolves got the ball to Rana Jackson, but she had the ball knocked loose by Sara Denning, and the Auks grabbed the ball and ran out the clock.

Conrad scored the first seven points of the game and took a 9-2 lead before a three ball by Hamberger ignited an 8-0 Archmere run. The teams traded the lead a few times, and the quarter ended with the Auks on top by a point, 15-14.

There was lots of hustle but little scoring in the second quarter. Brynn Bastian-Pastore made a bank shot three-pointer toward the end of the half to give the Auks a 24-17 lead, but Walker got those back with an old-fashioned three-point play.

Oliver led the Auks with 14 points. Hamberger had nine with three of the team’s eight three-pointers. Archmere (12-6) closes out the regular season on Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Tatnall.

For Conrad, Walker led the way with 14, and Frawley added nine. The Red Wolves (10-9) close out the regular season at Wilmington Charter on Tuesday at 5:15 p.m.

All photos by Mike Lang.