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Leading throughout their game against Owen County, the Grant County High School girls needed a last second shot to ensure a 46-45 win.
The Lady Braves led throughout the contest against Owen County, relinquishing the lead in the last 20 seconds before having a chance to win at the end.
With two seconds left on the clock, Grant County had the ball under their basket and ran an inbounds play, with senior Shayna Lockard sinking the game winning shot as the buzzer sounded.
“I was extremely nervous,” Lockard said. “All I could think was that I had to make it. I had no choice.”
As the ball was in the air, Lockard pleaded for it to go in and didn’t realize the outcome until approached by a teammate.
“It didn’t hit me until Dawn (Plunkett) ran up and hugged me,” Lockard said. “It was amazing. It was the best feeling ever to win your first game of your senior year. I think everyone played amazing.”
“It was nice,” coach Darrell Guffey said. “Shayna had a lot of easy looks early, but didn’t finish. She got better as the game went along. She’s worked hard to be better. It was fun. It was disappointing we didn’t finish it off earlier, but it was a nice way to start the year.”
The Lady Braves led from the beginning, taking a lead into every quarter. The only time they trailed was at the end of the game. Guffey relied on a play that had worked in the first half, but they hadn’t gone back to for the rest of the game.
“We talked about execution before the play,” Guffey said. “Run the play. My wife, Sonia, drew up a good play out of bounds. We thought we could get a pretty good look. We ran it in the first half and it led to a layup and we didn’t use it again until the end. Owen County is pretty good. It’s a nice win. They are hard to guard and we were fortunate in a lot of ways because of the way it finished out.”
Lockard and Plunkett led the Lady Braves in scoring, each pouring in 16 points, with 14 of Lockard’s coming in the second half. Senior Candace Gorby made two clutch free throws down the stretch, while Amber Cope guarded the Lady Rebels best player all night. Sophomore Tyanna Workman battled foul trouble, but according to Guffey “when she was on the court, she controlled the game.”
“It was a really intense game,” Plunkett said. “They kept coming back on us. It’s really good to get a win in your first game of the season. We just knew we were going to win. We just had to execute. It’s never easy to start with an away game, but it’s nice to have the win. We’re a lot closer this year and support each other.”
Up next for the Lady Braves is a game against the region favorite Simon Kenton on Dec. 4.
“It’s going to be a rough game because it’s early in the season and they’re a tough team,” Plunkett said. “But we’ll have to do our best. If we can execute and run the floor, we’ll be alright.”
“I told my players to enjoy this win, but come in ready for practice and be ready for Simon Kenton,” Guffey said.