Game of the season: Lee versus Falls Church

Lady Lancers celebrate an overtime thriller



Lady Lancers celebrate a successful season.

Andrew McGhan, Staff Writer

Though the 2019-2020 season was a strong season full of wins, the Lady Lancers were especially proud of their victory against Falls Church.

The team was led by Head Coach Leia Towe and Assistant Coach Mike Cunningham and their captains were Vanessa Gardiner (point guard), Taven Pulliam (center), and Cierra Blum.

Junior Lila Paul (point guard) reflected on the game as a full team effort. “It was a memorable game because we fought really hard until the end and we really wanted to win that game. It wasn’t smooth, we had a lot of mess ups but we were able to come back from those and secure the bag,” Paul said.

The Falls Church game became an overtime thriller. With four minutes left on the clock, the Lancers were up by 10 points. Falls Church was starting to go on a run of their own; the Lancers were missing shots but made up for it on the defensive end. However, the strong defense did not stop Falls Church from scoring 10 points, tying the score at 66 – 66. 

Falls Church came down the court with 34 seconds left. Falls Church started to move the ball around trying to get a look to score, but the Lady Lancers forced a turnover giving them the ball with 26 seconds left. 

The Lancers were moving the ball around trying to burn the clock and take the last shot of the game. In the last 3 seconds left with the clock running, Gardiner shot a 2 pointer, which hit the back of the rim, missing the game winner, and forcing the game to go into overtime.

The overtime was back and forth, with the Lancers taking a lead but then Falls Church taking the lead right back. With 1 minute and 38 seconds, the Lancers were down by 5. Then Falls Church scored a 3-pointer, but Junior Tayler Pellegrino (shooting guard) answered back with a 3-pointer of her own, bringing the score within five again. 

Then the Lancers were able to get a stop on the defensive. On the fast break, Paul made a full court pass to Pulliam who scored a layup to bring the score within 3. 

Falls Church came back down the court trying to answer with points of their own, but a Falls Church player was penalized for traveling, giving the Lancers the ball back. 

Pulliam was given the ball in the post, but when she went up to score, the Falls Church player fouled her in the act of shooting. Pulliam still managed to score the layup, but since the Falls Church player fouled her, it was called an “And one,” allowing Pulliam to shoot one free throw to make it a three-point play. 

Pulliam missed the free throw. Falls Church grabbed the rebound and started the fast break, but was not able to score in transition. Falls Church started to move the ball around, but Gardiner stole the ball with just 10 seconds left on the clock.

Gardiner sprinted down the court and went up for the layup. Gardiner missed but a defensive foul was called against Falls Church sending her to the free throw line. She made both free throws, giving the Lancers a one point lead. 

Falls Church used their last time out with 7 seconds on the clock and successfully inbounded the ball. Paul successfully stole the ball from the ball handler. She was fouled with four seconds remaining, sending her to the free throw line, since Falls Church committed too many fouls. 

Paul missed the first free throw but made the second one, which expanded the Lancers lead by 1 point, bringing the score to  77 – 75. Falls Church was out of timeouts and had to travel the length of the court to try and make a shot with the remaining 4 seconds. The Lancers full court pressed them so they could not try to make a half court shot. 

The Lancers blocked the half court shot giving them the win over Falls Church with the final score of  77 – 75. 

The game ended in a celebration. “We ran into the locker room and started cheering and banging on the lockers,” Paul said.