Lady Warriors Battle Patriots Down to Last Minute

Lady Warrior Mariah Jarnaghan, center, moves to block Patriot Lacy Asdourian, during the second half of the Hoopa v. Liberty Christian game on Saturday, January 18. / Photo by Kristan Korns, Two Rivers Tribune

By KRISTAN KORNS, Two Rivers Tribune

The Liberty Christian Patriots came back from near-certain defeat at the hands of Hoopa’s Lady Warriors, to carve out a three-point win in the last minutes of the game on Saturday, January 18.

Hoopa’s team, with only one freshman player to the Patriots’ five, started off strong.

Lady Warriors Stella Jarnaghan, Rochelle Thom, Tenaya Sorrell, and Lindsey Billings loaded 10 points onto the scoreboard in the first few minutes of the game, with only a three-pointer from Patriot Kara Paradis in response.

Both teams went after the ball aggressively, with Hoopa’s Mariah Jarnaghan and Stella Jarnaghan almost wrestling with Liberty Christian’s Lacy Asdourian and Alyssa Rude over the ball.

Rude sank a three-pointer with 30 seconds left in the quarter, and Lady Warrior Rhea McCoy tried a shot and missed in the last three seconds, ending the first quarter with Hoopa in the lead 13-7.

Liberty Christian’s Asdourian and Rude kept up the pressure; snatching the ball out of the hands of Hoopa players and relentlessly pushing on offense.

The Redding team pulled ahead by three points, until a basket from Hoopa’s Thom pushed the Lady Warriors back up within a point of their rivals, 18-19, with twenty seconds left in the first half.

Lady Warrior Stella Jarnaghan said she was confident they could retake the lead. “We’ve just got to go out there and make our shots.”

Hoopa’s team came back onto the court ready to take names in the second half, with a full-on assault from Sorrell, Thom and both Jarnaghans that rocketed the Lady Warriors into a 29-21 lead going into the third quarter.

Seconds into the fourth quarter, Stella Jarnaghan grabbed the ball and headed the entire length of the court to do a layup, putting the home team ten points ahead.

Three-pointers from Asdourian and Rude, along with a basket from Lindsey Fox followed by a layup from Asdourian tied the game 31-31 with four minutes left.

Then, in a series of calls that some in the hometown crowd found controversial, the referees began declaring foul after foul after foul against Hoopa players on the Patriots’ Asdourian.

Asdourian stepped up to the free throw line to take a shot twelve times in the next four minutes, sinking a basket for another point each time.

The game became a frenzied competition between the Lady Warriors attempting to sink layups faster than the Patriots’ Asdourian could score points with free throws. It ended with a 44-41 victory for Liberty Christian.

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