By Aaron Kirchoff Rushville Republican
---- — 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.
A bucket by Niehoff and free throws by Campbell knotted the game at 45-45 early in the fourth. A Kaitlyn Howe free throw gave the Lady Lions their first lead of the game with 6:33 to go. The Lady Lions never trailed again. The teams combined to shoot 18 free throws over the next six minutes.
With :35 showing on the fourth quarter clock, Hoopingarner drained her final 3-pointer to tie the game at 59-59. That set up Niehoff’s free throw and Hoopingarner’s attempt to win the game in the final seconds.
Campbell led all scorers with 30 points. Niehoff added 15 for the Lady Lions. Hoopingarner had 28 for Greenwood and McLeod added 17.
In the first game of the night, the Lady Lions put eight players in the scoring column in the 45-16 victory. Ellie Sammons led the Lady Lions with 11 points. Tayler Koors chipped in with 10. Greenwood was led by Ryan Bauer with eight points.
The Lady Lions host Lawrenceburg Saturday. The junior varsity game is set for noon.
Rushville 61,Greenwood 59
Scoring: Greenwood – Renfro 1 0 1-2 3, Hoopingarner 4 6 2-4 28, Overton 2 0 1-3 5, McLeod 6 0 5-7 17, Wolf 1 0 0-1 2, Gray 0 0 2-2 2. Totals 15 6 11-21 59. Rushville – Howe 0 0 2-4 2, Herbert 2 0 2-3 6, Cramer 1 0 1-6 3, Campbell 6 2 12-15 30, Niehoff 5 0 5-10 15, K. Ash 0 0 1-2 1, Yager 1 0 0-0 2, B. Ash 1 0 0-0 2. Totals 16 2 23-40 61.
Scoring: Greenwood (18) – Walker 1, Byrne 2, Bauer 8, Rains 5, Riley 2. Rushville (45) – Markley 9, Sammons 11, B. Ash 3, Adkins 4, Koors 10, B. Niehoff 2, Fogg 4, B. Herbert 2.
Contact: Aaron Kirchoff at 765-932-2222, ext. 114