Determined Raiderettes down Huntland in final regular season game

Madison Dingler faces off with Huntland’s Yareli Aralos for two points last Friday. Dingler led for Moore County in the 46-39 victory with 14 points.

By Tabitha Evans Moore, EDITOR & PUBLISHER

If a high school girls basketball game can be a heavyweight boxing match, then Friday night’s Raiderettes versus Huntland district match up in Lynchburg was exactly that. It was a punch, counterpunch affair between two evenly-matched, bitter if friendly rivals.

But in the fourth period, Moore County took advantage of offensive opportunities while playing fierce, determined defense to put up 18 points while holding Huntland to just 10 to earn a 46-39 victory and the top spot heading into the District 9A tournament next week. They play #4 seed Fayetteville at 6 p.m. on Tuesday in the first round of postseason play.

Moore County edged Huntland in game one of the regular season in Franklin County. In that game, Moore County managed a tough road win in double overtime. {To read our complete coverage of that game, click here.}

Raiderettes battle back to lead 20-18 at the half

On Friday, Huntland scored on the first possession with a trey from Aysia Williams. Moore County failed to answer when Ellie Graham’s right side layup fell short. The Raiderette defense came to play and forced a turnover on a bad pass on the next Hornet possession, then Moore County’s Anna Harder swished her own trey to tie the game, 3-3.

Now running a full court press, Moore County tried to keep Huntland out of the lane but Yareli Aralos drove inside for two. Huntland then pieced together a six point run thanks to points by Aralos, Maddie Burks, and Jocy May to build a 9-3 lead.

On the next possession, Graham made her first and the Raiderette’s last point of the first period from the line. Then, May went inside for two more. At the end of the first period, the Lady Hornets led the Raiderettes by seven, 11-4.

Moore County battled back in the second period – putting up 16, while holding Huntland to just seven to go into the halftime locker room leading by two points, 20-18. At the half, Madison Dingler led with seven points followed by both Anna Harder and Emma Sazonov with six each. Ellie Graham – who spent a lot of the first half fighting a double team – added one more point.

Raiderettes score go-ahead points in the final minute

Raiderette Katy Fletcher resets before driving in for two to make it 42-37 with less than a minute to play. Fletcher scored 10 points against Huntland.

It was Huntland’s turn to battle back in the third period. They put up 11 points while holding the Raiderettes to just eight. With less than a minute to play, Huntland’s Bailey Morris swished a three point shot to earn back the lead, 29-28.

Moore County struck first in the fourth period when Graham dished to Kay Fletcher, who then made two off the backboard to earn back the lead. May tied the game again with one from the line two plays later. Graham and Sazonov combined for six points to put the Raiderettes ahead 36-30 with a little less than six minutes to play. Huntland battled back with their own five point run thanks to points by May, Burks, and Morris to pull back within one point, 36-35, with a little over two minutes remaining.

Sazonov answered with a quick basket, then Morris scored two. Following a time out, Moore County got the ball back and executed their money play – a Graham to Fletcher pass from the top of the key to just under the boards. Fletcher scored again three plays later to make it 42-37 with less than a minute to play.

Huntland fouled Dingler on the next play. The refs called it intentional and she went to the line and made both. May scored a bucket with eight seconds left, and Huntland then fouled Dingler again on the next play. She went to the line again and made both shots to secure the 46-39 win and the top spot in District 9A.

Madison Dingler led for Moore County with 14 points followed by Katy Fletcher with 10. Emma Sazonov added eight and Ellie Graham managed seven more. Anna Harder made six points and Audrey Harder added a point.

The #1 seed Raiderettes will play #4 seed Fayetteville tomorrow at District 9A Tournament host Eagleville at 6 p.m. If they win, they will play the winner of the Eagleville, Huntland game. If they lose, they will play in a consolation game. Both games will take place on Thursday.

If you can’t attend in person, the Moore County Sports Broadcasting Team will live stream the game on the NFHS Network. •

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