Windham, OH- Marty Hill Court in Windham was the scene on Thursday night for a Northeastern Athletic Conference matchup between the Fairport Harding Skippers and host Windham Bombers. Both teams were coming off of a loss their last game and were looking to build some positive momentum in the second half of the season.
Windham won the tip and Briah Daniel dropped in the first points of the game to get the Bombers started. The Skippers got off to a cold start from the field missing three straight three point attempts on one possession midway through the 1st quarter. Senior guard Kara McFadden hit a deep three to tie the game up at 7 with just over 2 minutes to play. The Bombers answered right back with a long ball of their own as Mariah Woods connected. Windham would score the final 8 points of the quarter to take a 15-7 lead after one.
McFadden got the Skippers started in the second hitting her second three of the game to open quarter two. After the Bombers took a 9 point lead on a Woods jumper, Harding went on a 6-0 run to cut the Windham lead to 19-16 with 1:45 to play in the half. The last combined points of the half came on free throws and the Bombers held a 21-18 edge at the break. Briah Daniel led the way with 7 points for the Bombers while Woods chipped in 6 points and 7 rebounds. Kara McFadden had 8 points for the Skippers.
Windham got off to a big start in the 3rd quarter as they opened on an 8-0 run to take their biggest lead of the game at 29-18. It was a strong quarter for the Bombers and junior guard Mariah Woods who dropped in 10 points in the quarter including a sweet spin move in the lane to the basket for a layup. Harding was able to keep it within reach by scoring 6 of the last 8 points of the quarter all on converted foul shots. Windham held a 38-31 lead heading into the final quarter. The stage was set for an exciting and high scoring 4th quarter.
The Skippers got off to a quick 5-0 start to the 4th after another McFadden three ball cut the Bombers lead to 38-36. Windham was able to push the lead back out to 6 at 42-36 after 4 straight points from Briah Daniel. Windham held the lead until the 3:20 mark when McFadden's jumper tied the game up at 44. Windham pushed it back out to 5 at 49-44 with 2:23 to play behind their dynamic duo of Woods and Daniel. On the next Skippers possession Olivia Shipley was fouled hard inside by Bombers forward Abby Simpson who was whistled for a flagrant giving Harding two free throws and the ball. Windham dodged a bullet as Simpson split the pair and the Skippers came up empty on their possession.
A big three ball by Brielle Jones gave Windham a 52-45 lead with 1:58 to play. After another score by Daniel gave the Bombers a 9 point lead, it was McFadden again answering back for the Skippers with a three to make it a 54-48 game with 1:30 to play. Daniel was able to score inside and then converted 1 of 2 free throws the next time down putting Windham up 57-48. McFadden did all she could in the final minute hitting a pair of long three balls but the Skippers ran out of time and Windham hung on for a 57-54 win.
Top performers (unofficial stats):
Briah Daniel: 23 points, 7 rebounds
Mariah Woods: 19 points, 13 rebounds
Abby Simpson: 6 points, 17 rebounds
Kara McFadden: 32 points, 7 three pointers
Olivia Shipley: 8 points, 4 rebounds
I spoke with Bombers coach Jimie Collins and guard Mariah Woods after the game.
Correction on the stats in the interview - it was Briah Daniel who had 23 points & 7 rebounds
Brought to you by Daystar Ford