Late surge lifts ACS past Last Whalers, 43-40
The Anchorage Christian Lady Lions knocked down three free throws in the final 19 seconds on Saturday evening and then held on to claim a 43-40 victory over the Barrow Lady Whalers in the championship game of the 2012 ACS Lime Solar/Pepsi Invitational basketball tournament in Anchorage.
The Lady Lions' late success at the free throw line highlighted a solid second-half run by Anchorage Christian. The team erased a double-digit deficit in the final two periods of play by reeling off a 27-19 run in the final 16 minutes.
The Lady Whalers had an opportunity to snare the lead late in the contest. With just under 2 minutes left in regulation, Barrow scored and pulled to within one, at 41-40. Just over a minute later, Barrow missed an opportunity to grab the upper hand when they missed two free throw opportunities with 28 seconds left.
Anchorage Christian tacked on an additional free throw with 19 seconds left in the game to close out the contest.
Lynette Hepa and the BHS offense put Anchorage Christian on the defensive early. Hepa pumped in six points in the first eight minutes and led Barrow to a 13-6 advantage.
Angela Miguel also aided the Lady Whalers' offense by pushing in three points.
Hepa finished the game with a team-high 16 points.
ACS trimmed Barrow's lead a bit in the second. The Lady Lions posted a 10-8 clip in the stanza and went into the half down by five, at 21-16.
Anchorage Christian got its offense in gear in the third. ACS outscored Barrow by a 15-4 clip in the frame and took a 31-25 cushion.
Barrow rallied back in the fourth. The Lady Whalers picked up fourth-quarter baskets from Miguel, Hepa and Dana Chrestman and pulled to within 41-40.
The Lady Whalers struggled at the free throw line throughout the fourth quarter, hitting just six of their 12 attempts.
For the game, Barrow pushed in just 19 of 35 attempts from the charity stripe.
Miguel was the only other BHS standout to reach double figures offensively, finishing with 10. Hilary Lowery and Chrestman chalked up seven apiece.
Barrow, backed by double-digit efforts from Hepa, Chrestman and Lowery, advanced to the championship round via a 63-45 win over Valdez on Friday in the semifinals.
Barrow dominated the game in the first half, pounding out a 20-point halftime lead.
Hepa and Chrestman both finished the game with 18 points, while Lowery checked in 17.
The Lady Whalers opened the tournament with a 48-21 win over the Glennallen Panthers on Thursday.
Hepa did most of the offense damage for the Lady Whalers in the first half. She poured in 10 of her game-high 18 points in the first two quarters.
Chrestman and Lowery also hit double figures, scratching out 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Hutchison Lady Hawks, fresh off their win at the Husky Shootout in Kotzebue, nailed down third in the final standings with a 65-50 win over Valdez. South edged Glennallen for fifth, while Bethel claimed seventh with a 57-31 victory over Skyview.