Blount Press Row

Alive and Clicking

Scrappy Lady Governors edge Heritage on junior’s buzzer-beater

William Blount’s Amber Click defends Heritage’s Jordan Johnson on Monday. Photos by Jolanda Jansma

By Stefan Cooper
Editor
Blount Press Row

Todd Wright got what he asked for Monday night.

Heritage's Bethany Massey looks to cut off the drive of Mikayla Combs.

William Blount ran the play he called, and Amber Click’s banked in 3 from the head of the circle lifted the Lady Governors to a 50-49 win over host Heritage in the consolation game of the District 4AAA tournament.

Click puts up her game-winning 3-pointer.

William Blount travels to the Powell/Anderson County loser of tonight’s District 3AAA championship game to open Region 2 tournament play on Friday. Heritage visits the 3AAA champion.

After a timeout with 11 seconds remaining, Lady Mountaineer sophomore Leah Thomas missed on the second of two free throws. Wright had drawn up the play in the Lady Governor huddle in anticipation of Thomas making good on the second toss. The Lady Governors never once looked as if they were playing for overtime on the last shot, and a relived Wright was glad they didn’t.

“We drew up a play during the timeout anticipating she’d make both free throws,” the Lady Governor coach said. “They were going to run the play I drew up.

“It wasn’t a great shot, but Amber got open. She hit two big ones late that made the difference.”

With the clock at 4 seconds, Ami Hartline’s pick at the right wing freed a curling Click to fire.

“Ami set a great pick, and it left me wide open,” Click said. “Coach questioned our heart at halftime and whether we wanted to win the game. He said, ‘This is supposed to be your rival!’ Afterward, he said, ‘I’ll never question your heart again.’”

Thomas led all scorers on the night with 22 points, with fellow sophomore Kassi Knight adding the inside game with 14.

“Overall, it was a good effort,” Heritage coach Rick Howard said. “Leah Thomas played lights out tonight.”

Lindsey Roddy squeezes between Heritage's Leah Thomas, left, and Kassi Knight.

Click led a trio of Lady Governors in double figures with 14, her game-winner the second of two, big fourth-quarter 3s. Fearless freshman Lindsey Roddy, who collected the game-winning assist, added 11, with Shelby Spradlin tossing in 10.

With Thomas taking over early with a mix of jump shots and drives, Heritage opened a 15-10 lead after a quarter and a 30-21 advantage at the half, but the Lady Mountaineers could never shake the Lady Governors, a team with three freshmen and a sophomore in the starting lineup.

Back-to-back buckets from Thomas and one from Knight, followed by a pair of Bethany Massey free throws, pushed the Heritage lead to 42-30 with two minutes to play in the third.

“I’m thinking, ‘Maybe this isn’t going to work out tonight,’” Wright said. “The girls deserve all the credit.”

Spradlin, on a tough basket in the lane, and junior guard Samantha Henry, a critical 3, got William Blount back within seven, 42-35, by the end of the quarter. Thomas gave the Lady Mountaineers a 48-44 advantage on a pair of free throws with 39 seconds left. Click got the Lady Governors back within one on a trey from the right side with 15 seconds to play.

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