Ashland Blazer did what it had to do Friday night, pulling out a 59-56 girls basketball victory at Lafayette.
The ninth-rated Kittens (10-2) rebounded from a 50-46 loss to Iron-ton, Ohio.
We had a tough loss (Thursday) night, and I was really pleased with our energy tonight, Coach Bill Brad-ley said. I thought when it came down to it we played smart, got loose balls, drew charges. I thought that was a huge difference for us tonight.
Unranked Lafayette did what it could to nearly pull an upset.
The Lady Generals (8-9) rallied from a nine-point halftime deficit to lead with five minutes left.
Weve struggled with fighting for pretty much this whole season. A lot of it has to do with our youth, Coach Allison Denton said. And weve had four days of practice where weve really just went back and taught some things, and talked about the heart issue. They showed some heart out there.
So we have fixed the heart. When we fix the heart, everything else is going to come, so Im pleased with them.
Alexis Robinson paced the winners with 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Kaylyn Gambill added 15 points. Sydney Cullop had 12.
Lafayette got double-doubles from Sarah Cooley (17 points, 12 rebounds) and Ashanti Thomas (15 points, 15 rebounds). Kenyale Demus and Kiara Pankins scored 10 points each.
Ashland Blazer converted 17 Lafayette turnovers into 18 points. Lafayette scored nine off of eight Ashland Blazer errors.
Theyre so big inside, we tried to pressure them as much as we can outside to force some turnovers, Bradley said. Once they got inside, they did well.
Lafayette outrebounded the Kittens 47-29 and finished with a 25-2 bulge in second-chance points.
Ashland Blazers nine-point halftime lead came after Cullop, fouled at half-court, made three free throws with no time left.
Lafayette took its first lead since 2-0 when Demus drained a three-pointer for a 35-33 score with 3:09 left in the third quarter.
The Generals final lead, 48-46, came courtesy of Thomas put-back with 5:07 left.
Ashland Blazer scored the next nine points Robinson and Gam-bill three-pointers, plus Cullops three-point play.
Were right there, Denton said. We talked about being at the top of that mountain. Weve just got to get over it; weve got to get over the hump.