The Lady Indians basketball team suffered a tough 46-44 loss to Musselman on Tuesday, January 10, in Berkeley Springs.
Down 44-39 with 1:28 remaining in the game, Berkeley Springs got a quick basket from Deidra Burch, and then a long range bomb from Casey Solomon to tie Musselman, 44-44. Musselman called a timeout and then held the ball for the final shot, in the game between Eastern Panhandle rivals.
After the timeout, the Lady Applemen took the ball in from under their own basket, dribbled across the timeline, and methodically worked the ball around the Indian defense in search of the game-winning shot. The Berkeley Springs defense was tough and forced a risky pass to Nicole Dusing along the baseline with under 15 seconds remaining. Dusing misfired and there was a battle for the rebound. Solomon finally came up with the loose ball with seven seconds remaining, but Musselman's Nicole Henderson, who ended with a game-high 27 points, ripped the ball away and scored over Burch, at the buzzer, giving the Applemen a 46-44 victory.
"Our girls really battled and it is unfortunate they had to lose like that," said Berkeley Springs coach Dale McCumbee. “We were trying to get a timeout when Casey (Solomon) came up with the rebound. We were yelling, Timeout! Timeout! but didn't get it. It was a heartbreaking, tough loss."
The Indians showed a lot of resiliency erasing a six-point deficit in the first half to tie the game 22-22 at the half, and an eight-point fourth-quarter deficit before losing at the buzzer. In fact, Henderson had two buzzer-beaters that ultimately sunk the Tribe.
After Solomon nailed a three-point shot with 52 seconds remaining in the opening quarter to give Berkeley Springs its first lead of the game, 9-8, Henderson threw up a long three-point shot at the buzzer that found nothing but twine to give Musselman an 11-9 lead.
Musselman opened the second quarter on a 6-2 run to take a 17-11 lead, but the Lady Indians fought back and took their second lead of the game, 22-20, when Burch knocked down a long range three, with 1:10 remaining on the first-half clock. Musselman answered, and the two teams went to the break knotted at 22 each.
The Lady Applemen opened up a 29-25 lead at the 5:39 mark of the third quarter, but Burch hit back-to-back three's (her third in the quarter and fourth of the game) that gave the Tribe a 31-29 lead. Musselman regained the lead 32-31, but Solomon scored on the inside as the Indians went back on top, 33-32. Henderson answered with a three that gave Musselman a 35-33 lead heading into the final quarter of regulation.
The Lady Applemen built an eight-point lead, 41-33, before Berkeley began the furious rally that ended with the heartbreaking loss.
"Our girls showed a lot of character tonight," said McCumbee. “They could have folded when they fell behind by eight points in the fourth quarter, but they didn't. Was it disappointing? Sure, but you can't take anything away from the effort."
Deidra Burch and Solomon led the Indians with 20 and 16 points, respectively. Lauren Schetrompf added four points, while Caitlyn Napfel and Sydne Yanez rounded out the scoring with two points each.
The loss dropped Berkeley Springs to 5-6 on the year.