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Preston survives at Bridgeport for second postseason victory in program historical past

BRIDGEPORT — In a recreation that noticed 21 lead modifications, the Preston Excessive women’ basketball group outlasted the Bridgeport Indians 51-47 to open the Class AAAA Area I, Part 2 event on Wednesday night time inside The Pit at BHS.

PHS junior Kendra Nazelrod completed with a game-high 15 factors whereas sophomore Bella Miller contributed 11 for the Knights, together with two key free throws that put the sport to mattress with lower than ten seconds to go.

Wednesday’s victory is the second postseason win in PHS women basketball historical past. The Knights will transfer on to face College on Friday at 7 p.m. within the sectional championship recreation.

“I’ve all the time talked about our depth and it helped us on this recreation. Tonight was the epitome of resiliency and struggle,” Preston head coach Brian Miller mentioned. “For all the things we now have gone by this yr and just lately and even on this recreation, it speaks to the struggle these women have and the need they need to play for one another.”

A back-and-forth opening eight minutes noticed the Indians take an early benefit within the contest 13-10. 

PHS got here out of the break to start the second with a fast 5-0 run to grab a 15-13 lead, however the hosts instantly punched again with a basket to knot the rating as soon as once more.

Two extra minutes of traded baskets within the second body had been then adopted by three minutes of solely two factors between the 2 groups.

Nazelrod transformed two free throws simply earlier than halftime that made the distinction on the break for the Knights as they held a two-point lead 22-20.

The third quarter held to the theme of the primary half because the Indians held only a one-point benefit at 29-28 with 90 seconds to go within the quarter. Bella Miller hit a 3 to place PHS forward by two and Bridgeport would solely convert one in every of two free throws within the closing two possessions of the body. PHS led 31-30 after three quarters of play.

Alauna Wilson hit a triple and a free throw to open the fourth quarter for Preston however with 4:52 left within the recreation, PHS senior guard Ella White dedicated her fifth foul and was pressured to go away the sport. Jaylin Dodd gave BHS a 37-36 lead with a pair of free throws, however Miller did the identical with two of her personal on the subsequent possession. The Knights bought a cease on protection after which two extra on the stripe by Ava Bishop that gave her group a 40-37 lead with 3:23 to play.

Dodd hit 4 free throws over the subsequent 30 seconds for BHS, and Wilson added one in every of her personal to tie the sport at 41-41 for Preston. After one other sturdy cease on protection, Nazelrod completed a layup to take a two-point lead with 1:58 to go however on the following possession, Bridgeport’s Reese Pierce was fouled taking pictures a three-pointer and knocked down all three photographs on the line to tug the hosts forward 44-43. 

Nazelrod transformed a pair of free throws that was negated by a triple from Haylee Pryor for Bridgeport, pushing them forward 47-45 with 60 seconds to play.

After breaking the full-court stress utilized by BHS, Preston senior Kaylee Wimer ran the ground to the far nook earlier than receiving a go in a taking pictures place. The Trinity Christian switch knocked down an enormous three to steal the lead again 48-47.

The Knights buckled down on the defensive finish on the following possession, however Wilson solely made one in every of her two free throws to increase the result in 49-47. The Indians bought the ball again with 31.2 seconds left on the clock and Dodd drew a foul on a shot try after the inbound.

To that time, she was good 10 for 10 from the road however missed each photographs. Preston got here away with the rebound however turned the ball again over to Bridgeport with 10.5 left on the clock, nevertheless, an offensive foul was referred to as on the following drive to the basket.

Bella Miller stepped to the road with 9.3 seconds left and calmly knocked down each of her makes an attempt to place the sport out of attain for the Knights.

“I shoot lots over the summer time and in observe so I simply needed to get in my rhythm and my routine like I all the time do,” she mentioned. “I used to be additionally pondering at the back of my head of the seniors and we aren’t prepared for them to be accomplished but. Once I was taking pictures the foul photographs I actually stored telling myself at the back of my thoughts that we now have to complete this for the seniors.”

The Knights will transfer on to go to the College Hawks on Friday at 7 p.m. UHS defeated Preston 70-32 final week.

“I’ve by no means been so excited to see College,” Brian Miller mentioned with a smile. “A variety of it after we see a few of the greater groups might be the identify on the opposite jersey. They do an excellent job of rushing you up not solely bodily, however mentally. We will probably be able to go.”

Preston 51, Bridgeport 47
PHS 10 12 9 20 – 51
BHS 13 7 10 17 – 47
PRESTON — Nazelrod 5 5-6 15; Miller 3 2-4 11; Wilson 2 3-7 9; White 2 1-2 6; Bishop 1 3-4 5; Wimer 1 0-0 3; Simmons 1 0-0 2. 
BRIDGEPORT — Pierce 3 6-11 14; Pryor 5 1-7 13; Dodd 0 10-12 10; Anderson 2 0-0 5; Amick 1 0-0 2; Martinez 1 0-0 2; Kerr 0 1-2 1.
3-Pt. Objectives — Preston 7 (Miller 3, Wilson 2, White 1, Wimer 1); Bridgeport 5 (Pierce 2, Pryor 2, Anderson 1)