Naomi Rider sank a free-throw with 5 seconds remaining on the clock to secure an opening-night win for the KAHS Lady Knights 35-34 over Sunnydale. Trailing by 5 points with 1:30 remaining, the ladies proceeded to step up the pressure and forced several key turnovers in the closing seconds for the win. The Lady Knights were led by Danika Askew’s 20 points and Maggie Belzer’s 8 in the victory.
Bethany Fountain opened up her season with only two points, but they were huge as her bucket cut the lead to 3. Joy Tilinski followed with a steal and was fouled. After hitting one of the free-throws the Knights trailed by two until Danika made another steal and scored to tie the game.
Naomi Rider added another steal with under 10 seconds remaining and was fouled while shooting. After missing the first, Sunnydale called a time-out in an attempt to add to the pressure. Instead, Rider calmly sank the second shot for the eventual game winner. Naomi deflected the inbounds pass to allow more time to evaporate. Finally, Askew and the rest of the team played tight defense for the last few seconds to enable Kirksville to come away with a win.
Ironically, last year Rider had a chance to ice this same game at the end of the second overtime, but her second freethrow came up short. Sunnydale tied the game at the end on two free-throws to give the Lady Knights a hard-fought double-overtime tie.