MONMOUTH — Monday night’s Mountain Valley Conference clash between Monmouth Academy and unbeaten Boothbay hinged on length, from the very start to the very end.

Six-tenths of a second was just the right length of time for Monmouth’s Hannah Anderson to bank a 3-pointer off the backboard and in for a thrilling 42-41 win at Stuart L. Foster Memorial Gym.

It was Monmouth’s only lead of the game as the Mustangs (10-2) rallied from eight points down with three minutes left.

Monmouth tied the game on Sidney Wilson’s drive with 29 seconds remaining. Boothbay (11-1) reclaimed the lead when Faith Blethen found Sydney Meader underneath for a layup with 4.3 seconds to go.

Monmouth called a time out and advanced the ball to the halfcourt stripe, where Boothbay knocked a pass out of bounds. After another time out, Abbey Allen inbounded the ball to Anderson on the right wing. The pass was low, but Anderson collected it at her feet, turned and fired as the buzzer sounded. The ball hit the backboard, bounced precariously about a third of the way around the rim and dropped in, setting off a wild Monmouth celebration.

“I think when she threw it low it made my defensive player go down with me and it made me have momentum to shoot it,” Anderson said. “My adrenaline was going. Everyone was running at me. I was just crying.”

Anderson finished with a team-high 13 points, Tia Day also had 13 points, 10 in the second half for the Mustangs. Boothbay’s Page Brown led all scorers with 21 points and 10 rebounds.

With the 6-foot-1 freshman Blethen (eight points, nine rebounds, three blocks) guarding Day and the 6-foot sophomore Brown working in the paint, it took some time for the Mustangs to find the measure on their shooting due to Boothbay’s length, They scrapped for second chances on the offensive boards but were 2-for-15 from the floor in the first period.

Brown, by contrast, got off to a good start inside and Blethen hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Seahawks a 14-4 lead.

“They’re a very good team,” Monmouth coach Scott Wing said. “When you’ve got a 6-1 guard and a good power player inside, that makes it tough.”

Monmouth got a lift at the defensive end by Maddie Amero (five steals) and Haley West (six rebounds), and at the offensive end as well with Day’s 3-pointer to start the second quarter. Eight straight points from Anderson pulled it within 20-15. Brown’s putback with one second left in the half increased the Seahawks’ lead to 23-15.

“We really got our heads in the game,” Anderson said. “This is a really big game. Boothbay is undefeated. We wanted to come out strong and just finish it and realize the calls may not go our way but we still have to play our game and get through it.”

Boothbay increased the margin to 12 early in the third quarter before Day started to find the range again with a 3-pointer and a runner that pulled the Mustangs within 31-24 at the end of three.

Monmouth got as close as six early in the fourth before Hannah Morley’s putback made it 39-31 Bootbhay. Day sparked the Mustangs’ 11-2 game-ending run with a 3-pointer and a terrific cross-court pass to a cutting Amero that made it a three-point game with 2:25 to go.

“That’s two games in a row, Saturday (when a comeback came up short in a 44-37 loss at Mountain Valley) and Monday against two tough teams and in both of those games, we never stopped playing and that’s just a testament to the girls and the heart they have,” Wing said.

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33


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