Thanks to shooting woes, Tuscarora’s girls basketball team scored just 16 points through the first three quarters on Monday.
“Nothing was falling for us,” Titans senior Ageaira Frazier said.
But Tuscarora’s opponent, shorthanded North Hagerstown, had the same problem and the same point total — 16 — heading into the fourth quarter. So, despite enduring several long scoreless stretches, the Titans found themselves in position to get their first win of the season.
In fact, Tuscarora took a four-point lead when Frazier hit her second 3-pointer of the final quarter with 2 minutes, 24 seconds left. But the visiting Hubs, who suited up just six players, scored the game’s final eight points to pull out a 30-26 victory.
Fittingly, a missed shot set up North Hagerstown’s go-ahead basket down the stretch. Kayla Turner grabbed the offensive rebound, one of many the Hubs got on Monday, and hit a putback layup to give North a 28-26 lead with about 30 seconds left.
The Titans then missed some shots, including two at the free-throw line, and the Hubs hit 2 of 4 foul shots to seal the win.
The 10 points Tuscarora (0-6) scored in the fourth quarter topped its halftime total — the Titans trailed the Hubs 10-8 at the intermission.
Aside from having jumpers and layups miss, the Titans also ended up shooting 7 of 19 from the free-throw line.
“We have had stretches where we don’t shoot well, and this makes our second game where we didn’t shoot well for the entire game,” said Kevin Meredith, a longtime coach who is in his first season at the helm for Tuscarora. “Can’t figure it out yet. When I do, I will let you know.”
Frazier did provide Tuscarora with a timely spark in the final quarter, when she scored eight of her team-high 11 points.
Less than a minute after spinning about 180 degrees around a defender to hit a layup, Frazier sank a 3-pointer from the left wing to give the Titans a 21-17 lead with 4:43 left.
“In the beginning, none of my shots were falling. It was a very intense game,” she said. “I feel like if we would’ve slowed down a little bit more and got a little bit more rebounds, it would’ve been a whole different game.”
Frazier said she had faith in her team and thought the Titans could still go a long way.
“We have a great group of girls,” Meredith said. “The key is how do we keep learning how to compete better. We’ve had games where we’ve scored more than twice as much as that.”
North Hagerstown (3-4) was playing with a roster depleted mostly by COVID issues and some injuries.
“We just could not get in a rhythm,” said Hubs coach Adam Carter, who praised Tuscarora’s effort. “The challenges that we’ve faced this season — we had to play with six girls tonight, as you saw — and that’s been indicative of our season.
“One day we have a full group, or near full group, and the next day we’re a few short,” he said. “So just to develop some type of synergy has been very difficult, and I think it reared its ugly head in the game tonight.”
Like the Titans, the Hubs also struggled to hit any type of shot on Monday, including going 4 of 14 from the foul line.
Gabby Grantham-Medley had a game-high 14 points (including a foul shot with 15 seconds left) for the Hubs, and Turner scored 12. Kayla Keyes’ foul shot with 7.3 seconds left all-but iced the game, giving the Hubs a four-point lead.