Even a shorthanded Erwin girls basketball team is not ready to give up its grip on the Mountain Athletic Conference’s 3-A division just yet.
Sophomore Mariah Reid led the three-time defending MAC 3-A champions with 15 points and also grabbed 13 rebounds in Tuesday’s 59-54 comeback win at North Buncombe.
Rachael Johnson (14 points) and the Warriors (9-7, 2-2) went on a 21-0 run to end the game. Heather Burton added 10 rebounds and 16 points.
Erwin won without leading scorer Kendra Griffin (12.4 points per game) who was on the bench, but not dressed out to play. Coach Terry Gossett said that the freshman is sick and should return next week.
Every MAC 3-A girls team has two conference losses after Tuesday.
“It’s a huge win for us,” Gossett said.
“It’s just the kind of win that we needed. North Buncombe is a good, well-coached team. We didn’t quit tonight.”
Indeed, the Black Hawks (8-7, 1-2) and the duo of Haley Higgins (18 points) and Kelsi McHone (17) looked to be in control leading up to the comeback by the visitors.
North Buncombe pushed ahead 12-6 at the end of the first quarter and took a 27-23 lead to halftime thanks to Chance Brown’s long 3-pointer just before the horn.
The Black Hawks began pulling away with a 15-2 run to start the third quarter, getting six points apiece during that stretch from Higgins and McHone.
But Erwin wasn’t done. The Warriors outscored North Buncombe, 25-8, in the fourth quarter.
Reid’s layup tied the game at 52-52 with 1 minute, 10 seconds to go in regulation. Dalton Gossett then hit four consecutive free throws to give the Warriors the lead for good.
“We weren’t going to give up,” Reid said.
“It’s a good win and we wanted it bad. We got the momentum tonight and just kept playing hard.”