ADAMS — The rematch between the girls’ basketball teams Indian River and South Jefferson was a worthy follow-up to their first meeting.
Bella Davis scored on a slump as time ran out to give the Warriors a 58-57 Frontier League “A” Division win over the Spartans on Wednesday night. Indian River (12-2, 9-0) survived a furious fourth quarter comeback from South Jefferson (7-5, 5-3) that nearly gave the Warriors an 11-point lead.
“I was a little nervous and I didn’t think (the shot) was going to go in, but it did,” Davis said.
Adrien LaMora scored 18 points and McKenna House scored 13 of her 17 first-half points for the Warriors, who defeated the Spartans 55-53 in the season opener on December 2 in Philadelphia. Indian River rallied from a slow start to defeat South Jefferson in that game.
“I thought we could have done better, but to beat South Jeff twice is pretty amazing,” said LaMora, a Division I Canisius champion.
South Jefferson’s Jackie Piddock led all scorers by 32 points, while Brooke Perry, Maddie Pfleegor and Liz Chapman each added six points for the Spartans, who got a massive fourth quarter from the Marist commit despite taking the bulk saw several defenders of the match.
“If you have Jackie Piddock on the floor, you have a shot at winning the game,” said Indian River head coach Jim Whitley.
Indian River started quickly thanks to House, who hit some mid-range jumpers and a three in the first half. The senior has struggled in recent games, but helped Indian River after South Jefferson turned much of his defensive focus on LaMora.
“I got out of my own head and just played the game I wanted to play,” House said.
The Spartans were able to get back into the game in the second quarter thanks to Piddock and a solid defense in the second quarter to finish in 29-24 at halftime.
“I think we just moved the ball really well, as well as in the transition,” said Piddock. “It got us up and down on the floor, which is one of our strengths.”
House’s shooting success helped open the inside game for Indian River and LaMora was able to get most of her points in the game. Indian River continued its strong inside play into the beginning of the fourth, where it forged a two-figure lead.
However, South Jefferson narrowed the lead and came to within one at 56-55 after a Piddock layup with 13.9 seconds left. The Spartans took the lead after Piddock sunk a few foul shots for a 57-56 lead with 10.5 seconds to go. However, South Jefferson failed to extend the lead and missed a few foul shots.
That set the tone for Davis, who finished with 10 points, and the Warriors to snatch the win. Davis managed to make her way inside and put back a missed jumper when the horn sounded.
“I think I was there in the right place at the right time and crashed the boards,” said Davis.
“It was just a shame that the game didn’t go the way we hoped,” said South Jefferson coach Michelle Whitley. “Jackie made a great stop in defense, but we couldn’t get out with the rebound.”
The two teams will likely face each other one more time in the “A” Division Playoff Championship on Feb. 12 at Jefferson Community College. The combined margin of victory of the two games is three points.
“It’s just a good rivalry and good basketball both ways,” LaMora said.