Bailey’s late bucket lifts Lady Raiders over Franklin
FRANKLIN – With the game tied at 40-all with just seconds remaining, Tanaya Bailey came up clutch.
An eighth-grader, Bailey stepped up and made a senior-type play, scoring with 4.1 seconds left to lift the Warren East girls’ basketball team to a hard-fought 42-41 win over Franklin-Simpson on Monday evening at Franklin-Simpson High School.
Girls’ hoops: Warren East 42, Franklin-Simpson 40, :0:4.1 left. Tanaya Bailey’s bucket puts Lady Raiders in front. pic.twitter.com/3czhdizRp0
— The Sporting Times (@sportingtimes) December 11, 2018
Thanks to Bailey’s bucket, the Lady Raiders (1-6) earned their first win of the 2018 season.
“She came up big for us,” Warren East head coach Orlando Hayden said. “It was good for her – and for our team. It’s like I told them at the end, ‘You’ve got to learn how to win ball games at the end.’”
East and Franklin exchanged punches from start to finish. The Lady Cats led 11-9 after the opening quarter and later took a tight 19-16 advantage into the locker room at halftime. The two sides kept it a back-and-forth affair throughout the second half, but it was the Lady Raiders that delivered the final punch.
While Bailey made the game-winning play and finished with six points, Lucy Patterson carried Warren East with 13 points, while Hailey Hymer finished with 11.
Kate Norwood led Franklin-Simpson (1-3) with 17 points, and Evyn Mutchen added nine.
The two sides played a competitive opening half.
Behind five first-quarter points from McCutchen, Franklin-Simpson held a slim 11-9 lead after eight minutes of action. A basket from Norwood at the 5:01 mark of the second pushed the Lady Cats’ advantage to 13-9, but Warren East immediately answered to get back within two.
Another score from Norwood helped Franklin-Simpson lead 19-16 at the break. Through 16 minutes of action, Norwood had scored eight points, while McCutchen still had five. Patterson and Caroline Forrester were pacing the Lady Raiders with four points each.
Things remained tight throughout the ensuing half.
A pair of Patterson free throws at the 4:16 mark of the third quarter helped Warren East even the scoreboard at 23-all. Franklin-Simpson fired right back with a three-pointer from Norwood to put it up 27-23 with just over two minutes remaining in the period.
Hymer’s jumper from the right corner gave East a one-point lead before McCutchen hit one of her own on the other end to put Franklin-Simpson up 30-29. However, on the next possession, Hymer – who scored nine points in the quarter – stuck again with a buzzer-beating three to make it 32-30 in the Lady Raiders’ favor entering the fourth.
“That’s how it’s been three times (this season),” Franklin-Simpson head coach Lex Lindsey said. “Just kind of shooting ourselves in the foot. Not knowing the situation like we need to. That’s part of the process. Last year, this team beat us by two touchdowns both times. This time it was a missed point-after.
“We’ve gotta keep improving and keep working.”
Another big shot from Norwood tied it at 34-all with just over four minutes left, but Warren East later led 40-38 at the 2:02 mark following a pair of Tanaya Bailey free throws. Considering how the game had been flowing, Franklin-Simpson tied it at 40-all with 31.1 seconds to go.
That’s when Bailey made her big play and sent her team back to Bowling Green with a grinded-out road victory.
Warren East returns to action Tuesday in a 6 p.m. road contest at Allen County-Scottsville. Franklin-Simpson will also be back on the court Tuesday, traveling to Edmonson County for a 5:30 p.m. tipoff.