WESLEY CHAPEL — With his team down by nine going into the fourth quarter, Fivay coach Greg Bollinger told his players they had to get the ball past Wesley Chapel's strong press defense.
Once the Falcons were able to do that, it allowed them to reach the free-throw line and chip away at the Wildcats' lead. Bollinger's squad hit 5 of 6 foul shots in the fourth quarter to edge Wesley Chapel 37-36 on Tuesday night.
"In the last quarter, I just told the girls to put their head down and get to the basket," Bollinger said.
"I am really proud of this group. This is a first-year group of girls who have never played with each other before, and to come back from a nine-point deficit in a hostile environment is impressive."
Both teams struggled early, combining to go 2-of-8 from the free-throw line.
Wesley Chapel (3-2) took a 15-14 lead going into halftime. The Wildcats forced 13 turnovers in the first half and committed eight in the game.
After poor first-half shooting, Wesley Chapel guard Hannah Noble scored 10 of her 17 in the third quarter to spark a 12-4 run to end the period.
Down 31-22 going into the fourth, Fivay (4-2) scored 10 straight to start the quarter. Wesley Chapel scored its first basket of the fourth with 3:18 left.
It proved to be too little, too late for the Wildcats as Falcons guard Jazmine Minor hit 4 of 4 free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
"The effort was there (Tuesday night)," Wesley Chapel coach Shawn Brown said. "We have to have another girl step up besides Hannah Noble. Missed layups and free throws killed us."