There probably were several plays Augusta’s girls basketball team would like to have back.
Twice in the final minute, the Orioles had chances to take the lead or tie Circle after forcing turnovers, but the Orioles mishandled the plays and came up empty-handed. Those little plays thwarted Augusta’s bid for a comeback win as Circle held on to win Friday’s game 34-32.
“We had two opportunities in the final 30 seconds with a breakaway and numbers, and we turned the ball over,” coach Tracy Anderson said. “Just one play...But I can’t fault our effort.”
The Orioles trailed by as many as 10 points early in the third quarter. But like they’ve done several times now this season, they rallied to make a game of it. During the third quarter, Casady Marlnee made a sweet pass to Abby Tipton on a pick-and-roll. Tipton banked in the shot, which started a 10-4 run that spilled in the fourth quarter.
Kalie Robinson scored a layup in transition and drew a foul to give Augusta its first lead since the first quarter at 30-28. But Circle’s Jamie Wright made a basket on a clever inbound pass—the third time Circle scored on such a play—to tie the game 30-30. Jacy Gibbs later gave the Thunderbirds a 34-30 lead, and that proved to be enough for Circle.
The Orioles fell behind in the first half because of turnovers and rushing their offense. Circle’s pressure defense forced 12 first-half turnovers. The Orioles’ effort kept them afloat, though. They outrebounded Circle 22-9 in the first half and scored nine second-chance points.
Marlnee scored 13 points to lead the Orioles. Taylor Childers had several rebounds and scored six points.