Henry Clay's girls almost proved that you don't have to score to win at basketball.
The Blue Devils upset No. 15 Paul Laurence Dunbar 40-38 in the S.T. Roach Classic on Thursday night despite shooting only 15 percent (5-for-34) in the second half.
Henry Clay Coach Eric Sanford knew his players were frustrated when they missed 23 of their first 24 shots in the second half, so late in the game he had a simple message for them:
"Dig deep and pull it out."
Sophomores Jazmine Richmond and Kerrigan Davis hit big three-pointers in the fourth quarter, and freshman T'laya Lyvers cashed two free throws to tie it 38-38 with 1:44 left.
After the teams combined to miss five free throws down the stretch, Henry Clay got the ball with 24 seconds left.
Sanford drew up a play designed to go to Davis, but Richmond wound up with the ball in the left corner.
"I saw the lane open and just went," she said.
Richmond, the daughter of former Bryan Station standout Jonathan Richmond, drove into the paint and hit a floater to give the Devils a 40-38 lead with 11 seconds left.
Henry Clay's defense, which gave Dunbar trouble all night, sealed the victory by preventing the Bulldogs from getting a shot off.
Richmond and Destiny Carter, another sophomore, led the Devils with 10 points apiece. Davis added eight.
Dunbar, wearing green uniforms in honor of S.T. Roach's old Bearcats, had its own shooting troubles. It was 1-for-14 in the second quarter and trailed 25-19 at halftime.
After Dunbar rallied and led by as many as five in the second half. Sanford never lost confidence in his Devils.
"We've got a young team, but we're battle-tested," he said. "We've been through some tough games and used them as learning opportunities. And we showed what we learned here tonight."
Dunbar, which reached the Sweet Sixteen semifinals last March on its way to 30 wins, is still trying to find its stride this season.
Jordin Fender, the leading scorer a year ago, sat out the first 15 games recovering from knee surgery. The senior guard saw her first action Thursday night but was limited to just a few minutes.
Lakeena Parks, a 5-foot-10 senior, led the Bulldogs with 13 points. Lexus Edwards and ShaKeema Jackson had seven apiece.
Henry Clay 40, Paul Dunbar 38
HENRY CLAY (9-8) — Richmond 10, Carter 10, Porter 3, Young 2, Coney 3, Davis 8, Lyvers 4.
PAUL DUNBAR (9-7) — Edwards 7, Jackson 7, Muhammad 4, Parks 13, Todd 5, Pollard 2.
Henry Clay 16 9 3 12—40
Paul Dunbar 14 5 12 7—38
Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337 Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com