by Jake DeLuca
The Armstrong River Hawks (9-7) girls varsity basketball team hosted the Franklin Regional Panthers (10-5) in a section match-up that came down to the last seconds of the game on Monday night.
Earlier in the season Armstrong lost to Franklin Regional 57-52 and the River Hawks were searching for redemption in front of a packed home crowd.
The River Hawks got off to a slow start offensively, after the first quarter Armstrong trailed Franklin Regional 11-6.
During the second quarter the action started to pick up as Armstrong’s Kenzie Lasher started to heat up and take control of the game. Lasher would score 13 of the River Hawks 20 first half points as Armstrong headed to the locker room for half-time down 24-20.
The River Hawks and Panthers would continue their pace from the second quarter, and heading into the fourth Armstrong found themselves down 29-24.
The fourth quarter was where the intensity skyrocketed. At 5:30 left in the fourth quarter Kenzie Lasher drove to the basket and scored a layup to tie the game at 29-29.
The River Hawks and Panthers traded leads and played some hard-nosed, scrappy basketball down the stretch with neither team giving an inch to the other.
Down one with about a minute to go Armstrong’s Alaina Bell tied the game at 33-33 with a free throw make.
Franklin Regional stormed right back earning a trip to the line themselves, and the Panthers went 1-2 that trip to take a 34-33 lead.
With just 2 seconds to go in the game Armstrong tried to get a play off, but were unable to attempt a shot – losing to Franklin Regional 34-33.
After the game Armstrong Head Coach Kirk Lorigan gave credit to the Panthers and some insight into what the River Hawks have to do to take control down the stretch.
“Franklin Regional is a really good team and we needed this win pretty bad. It got away from us again, we have to do a better job late in the game corralling the basketball and turning it into our possession so we aren’t stuck in that situation again,” Lorigan said.
Armstrong will have until Thursday before their next game as they travel to Hampton to take on the 13-2 Talbots – tip-off is set for 7:30 PM.