Lisbon falls short

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LISBON – When Stephanie Smith’s jumper from the top of the key swished through the basket, it got everyone’s attention.

After having been down by as many as 18 points, the Lisbon Greyhounds had quietly plucked their way to within six points of the Madison Bulldogs with 2:28 left.

“I wasn’t even paying attention to the score,” said senior forward Heather Parry. “I was just going out there and playing.”

Lisbon got within three in the final minute, but the Bulldogs ultimately held on for a 52-48 win.

“The girls understand that if we get down by 15 points, we have the offensive capabilities to come back,” said Lisbon coach Jake Gentle. “It means a lot to us. We know we’re not going to keel over and quit if we get down by 15 at halftime. We know we can fight back and the game is not over until that buzzer goes off. Even though we didn’t get the win, I think we have some confidence that we can come back.”

Lisbon (6-7) was led by Christy McAuliffe with 15 points, while Parry had all nine of her points in the final quarter. Renee Moore had eight while Emily Moore chipped in six.

The Bulldogs (10-4) got 15 from Margo Russell in the paint and 12 from Lacey Ashbrook on the perimeter.

The Bulldogs, ranked sixth in the Western C standings, took advantage of Lisbon’s turnovers and missed shots in the first half and exploited holes in the defense to build a 31-16 lead at the half. A 7-3 run midway through the third had the deficit up to 40-22.

“After not playing for a week, it was tough to get back into it,” said Parry. “We wanted to play to our ability, but we weren’t quite sure, and in the fourth quarter, we got more comfortable.”

Baskets by McAuliffe, Renee Moore and Rachel Beal had the lead down to 43-30 after three quarters.

In the fourth, the Greyhounds found some rhythm offensively against the zone. Meanwhile, Lisbon’s defense cranked up the intensity, pressured the ball effectively and took away the outside shot that had enabled the Bulldogs to build the early lead.

“I think we attacked the basket a lot better in the fourth quarter,” said Gentle. “I think we rebounded better in the fourth quarter. We made some shots which is a big thing, and we played with some real fire.”

Back-to-back baskets by Parry and a post move by McAuliffe got the lead down to nine. After Madison went up by 12, Lisbon scored nine straight points.

Parry scored and followed moments later with two free throws. Then Smith hit her jumper to make it 46-43. Parry hit a free throw, and McAuliffe finished off an inbounds pass from Kelly Bourgoin making it 48-45 with 45 seconds left. Madison got three free throws from Briann Emery in two trips to the foul line. McAuliffe kept the suspense going with a 3-pointer with four seconds left, but Brittany Rich hit a free throw to seal it.

“It meant a lot that we can play right up there with them and not have them run all over us,” said Parry. “It shows that we can actually do something.”

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