AUBURN — When the first eight shots failed to fall in the third quarter Tuesday night, things didn't bode well for the Edward Little girls' basketball team.
The Red Eddies were clinging to a narrow lead with Cony ready to make its move. Slowly but surely, though, the EL offense started to get hot.
A couple press-breakers, a steal and a three-point play started to give the Red Eddies some momentum. That set the table for an 11-0 run that broke the game open in a 61-45 win over the Rams.
"After halftime we just wanted to beat Cony after all the times last year," sophomore Brooke Reynolds said. "We were ready after our loss against Mt. Ararat. So we were ready to come out and step it up."
Cony beat EL twice in the regular season last year and in the Eastern A final. The Rams ran into foul trouble Tuesday with starters Josie Lee and Emily Sanford fouling out in the fourth. EL took full advantage turning a six-point game into a comfortable lead.
"I really like the character we showed as far as coming back," EL coach Craig Jipson said. "It was tough for my kids to come back after losing a heartbreak on Friday against a good team on the road. We had the lead (Friday). I think we're playing with a little too much panic. I keep telling people how young we are because we have 10 sophomores and freshmen."
Ashlee Arnold led EL (1-1) with 21 while Reynolds added 14, 11 coming in the second half. Kory Norcross chipped in 11. Cony got 12 from Lee and 10 from Sanford.
EL had taken the lead in the second quarter with back-to-back hoops by Kate Sawyer and a 3 from Arnold. The lead was 27-26 at the half.
Though EL missed eight straight shots to start the third quarter, the Red Eddies hit five of its last seven to extend the lead.
"Once that happened, we were ready to win and were pumped up," said Reynolds. "We went all out at that time."
With less than four minutes remaining in the quarter, Arnold and Reynolds each scored off a press breaker. Then an Arnold steal made it 37-31. Cony scored twice to make it 37-35, but a Norcross three-point play made it 40-35 with 55 seconds left. After Lee scored for Cony, she fouled Reynolds at the buzzer. Reynolds sank a free throw for a 41-37 lead, but it was Lee's fourth foul.
"When they lost Josie Lee, we had to feel like we could go away with it," said Jipson. "They had to bring her back when we were up by eight because we were about to run away with it."
EL ran off 11 straight to open the fourth, and the Rams lost Lee to fouls with 6:46 left. Sanford fouled out with 1:39 remaining.
After Emily Jacques scored on a rebound to start the fourth, Norcross scored. Arnold sank two free throws to make it 47-37. Reynolds converted passes from Jacques and Arnold to push the lead to 52-37.
Cony got a 3 from Hayley Quirion and a basket from Olivia Deeves, but EL answered that with a 9-3 run to finish it off. Arnold, Calli Murray and Norcross all hit from the free throw line during that stretch.
"We all came together," said Reynolds. "We decided we all wanted to win, and we pulled it off."