Prep girls basketball: Belpre girls hang on to defeat Meigs, 51-48

BELPRE – Senior night for the Belpre girls basketball team provided much-needed drama in terms of margin of victory.

Playing in front of their home fans for the final time for the 2012-13 campaign, the Golden Eagles rallied from four points down in the third quarter and held on for a 51-48 victory against Meigs.

With one regular-season game remaining tonight at Waterford, Belpre improved to 15-6 despite missing four free throw attempts in the final eight seconds against Meigs. The Golden Eagles did not secure their second win in as many tries this season against the Marauders until Delilah Fish grabbed a defensive rebound off yet another Belpre miss from the charity stripe with one second remaining in regulation.

Fish was unable to heave the ball downcourt before the buzzer sounded.

“This was a great game for us,” Belpre coach Scott Miller said. “Not only because we came out with a victory, but because we had to play down the stretch and hold a lead to win a ballgame.

“We have had a couple of close ones, but for the most part in a 21-game season we have had very little of this. You almost welcome something like this.”

Belpre opened the second half leading 26-24 before Meigs (4-16) ripped off six straight points as the Golden Eagles missed their first five shots from the floor.

Katelyn Hughes, who produced a double-double for Belpre after scoring 17 points and pulling down 10 rebounds, contributed 11 points during a three-minute span in the third quarter which put the Golden Eagles in front to stay at 41-32.

The margin remained nine at 43-34 as Belpre’s Emily Hughes tossed in two of her 12 points just before the start of the fourth quarter.

With Belpre managing just one made field goal in the final eight minutes, Meigs managed to chip away at the deficit and closed to within one point on several occasions. Brittani Krautter’s bucket with 1:22 showing proved to be the Marauders’ final points and closed the margin to 49-48.

Belpre called timeout with exactly one minute left and played keep-away until Katelyn Hughes was fouled at 28.8 seconds. Both free throws fell through the net without any hesitation as the Golden Eagles increased the advantage to 51-48.

Lexus Cunningham grabbed 10 boards to go with five points for Belpre, while Sierra Barker shrugged off a tough shooting night to finish with nine points and five steals.

Krautter led Meigs with 11 points, while Morgan Russell tossed in 10 points. The Marauders made just 1-of-9 attempts from 3-point range.

“We had some people who we usually count on to score that did not – they did not have their best offensive game tonight, but other people stepped up and scored when we needed them to,” Miller said.