The magic number on the night was 61. That is how many points the Lady Lions needed to hold off Greenwood in Memorial Gymnasium Tuesday. It was also the number of free throws the teams combined to shoot. Rushville connected on just enough (23-of-40) to top Greenwood 61-59.
Despite the parade to the charity stripe throughout the game, the balance of the game came down to one play with less than :05 on the fourth quarter clock. After Keragan Niehoff connected on a free throw to give the Lady Lions the lead 60-59, Greenwood sophomore guard Holly Hoopingarner penetrated the lane and put up a floater. The shot rolled off the rim and came down to Rushville’s Mackenzie Campbell. Campbell was fouled with :01 on the clock and hit a free throw on the other end to seal the 2-point victory.
Hoopingarner had things rolling in the first quarter. The guard connected on 19 points in the first eight minutes, including five 3-pointers. Her fifth triple had the Lady Woodmen lead at 25-9 with 1:24 on the clock. After a free throw by Niehoff, traditional three-point plays by Campbell and Makayla Herbert closed the gap to 25-16 heading to the second quarter.
Greenwood pushed the lead to 11, but two Campbell free throws got the deficit back to single digits for the Lady Lions as Rushville fought back. Down nine, the Lady Lions got five points from Campbell and another traditional three-point play from Herbert to cut the deficit to 31-30 with 2:28 to go in the half.
Greenwood closed the half with five straight points to lead 36-30 at the break.
Greenwood was able to extend the lead back to nine points midway through the third quarter. Following a Rushville time, the Lady Lions closed the quarter on a 6-2 run to cut the deficit to 45-41 heading to the final eight minutes.