After missing several freebies in their season-opening overtime loss to Winthrop, the Raiders mastered the charity stripe against the Greyhounds, making 13 of 20 in the game, including 8 of 13 in the fourth quarter.

“It’s interesting, in the first game we missed 15 free throws in the first half, we barely made 50 percent, and, we lost the game in overtime,” Oak Hill coach Mike Labonte said.

“We’d been taking a lot foul shots before then, but we’ve taken even more since then. But for us, it’s about settling down and relaxing and being strong. I think a lot of it is just faith that you can do that.”

Freshman point guard Desirae Dumais made 8 of 9 at the line, including all four of her attempts in the fourth, but it was sophomore forward Abby Nadeau who made the biggest free throws of the game, sinking two with 27 seconds left to break a 35-35 tie.

“I was just thinking that my team needed me and they were counting on me,” Nadeau said, “so I knew I had to have a clear mind and just, like every day in practice we’ve been working in practice on foul shots, so I just had to sink them in.”

Nadeau then sealed the win by rebounding Sara Moring’s missed free throw and scoring with less than 15 seconds remaining.

“We were all trying our best to get that last rebound, put that last bucket in, and just, by chance, I got the ball, but it could have been anyone, it really could have been anyone,” Nadeau said.

That putback was one of only two field goals made by Oak Hill in the final period. Nadeau had the other one as well, early in the quarter, and scored six of her 12 points in the fourth. Dumais scored 14 to lead the Raiders in their important early season win.

“To be honest, we didn’t beat Lisbon last year, so it was just a great feeling for us to beat Lisbon,” Nadeau said.

Brianna Mulherin and Moring hit 3-pointers early in the game to give Oak Hill a 6-2 lead. Dumais’ three-point play early in the second quarter made it 15-6, but that’s as big as the Raiders’ lead would get. The Greyhounds finally started making shots and began the process of clawing their way back into the game.

“I thought we came out a little flat,” Lisbon coach Julie Petrie said. “Offensively, we didn’t really have a flow. We kind of forced some shots early.

“I thought they did much better in the second half.”

By the end of the first half, Oak Hill’s lead was down to 19-16. Lisbon tied it up three times in the third, but couldn’t take the lead.

The Greyhounds tied it at 27-27 early in the fourth quarter, but the Raiders responded with a 4-0 lead. Then, with less than a minute to play, Lisbon’s Jasmin Le stole the ball and hit a jumper to tie the game again, 35-35. But then game Nadeau’s late-game heroics.

“Pivotal loss. We really wanted to win tonight,” Petrie said. “Just inconsistent; we didn’t really play the four quarters that we’d talked about.

“I thought we ended well. Definitely a couple pivotal possession at the end we didn’t capitalize on.”

Le paced Lisbon with 13 points, seven of those coming in the fourth, and Giana Russo added 11.

Labonte said that the Raiders also led most of the game against Winthrop, but couldn’t finish. He expects his young team — which has only three seniors and starts three sophomores and a freshman — will have several more close games, like those it has had to start the season.

“We just have had a hard time closing things out,” Labonte said. “We panic, we miss free throws, those little things, we just end up not doing. We did it a little better today; hopefully a little better again next time.”

The Raiders (1-1) host Monmouth (3-0) on Saturday night. Lisbon (2-1) plays at Winthrop (2-1) on Saturday afternoon.


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