SPRING CREEK — Coincidentally, a team that struggled to hit free throws all night iced the game with some big makes late.
On Friday, the Spring Creek girls basketball team maintained its No. 4 spot in the 3A North standings with a hard-fought, not-always pretty 52-48 victory over Fallon.
Both teams struggled to score in the early portion of the game, neither mounting a point for three minutes.
The drought was broken by a deuce on the right block by Spring Creek senior Cheyenne Cleveland on a dish from junior Chelsea Ackerman.
Junior Kylee Dimick was fouled and hit 1-of-2 at the line, Fallon junior Madison Whitaker sinking 1-for-2 on the other end.
Ackerman split a pair of defenders and dropped a midrange runner from the left side through a foul for a 5-1 lead.
Fallon found some good looks but missed several bunnies, turned the ball over and was called for fouls.
Spring Creek grabbed a 7-1 lead on an And-1 by sophomore Payge Walz, who was set up across the lane with a nice pass from junior Lydia Binger.
The Lady Greenwave’s first field goal came with 35 ticks on the clock, junior Aisha Sharron breaking down her defender off the bounce for a left-handed bank.
She then dished a dime to senior Makenzee Moretto for a layup on the left side.
After the first, the Lady Spartans led by two at 7-5.
Dimick opened the second with a 1-for-2 stint at the line, Fallon junior Addison Sandberg following suit on the other side.
Whitaker tied the game with a nasty drive and left-handed scoop, and Moretto banked home a shot from the high post.
Spring Creek went back to the lead with a dime from Walz to Ackerman on the break and a bank by Dimick.
Lamb put the Lady Spartans out front with a runner in the middle of the lane with a kiss off the window.
Whitaker made 1-for-2 at the line and brought the deficit to three at 14-11.
Both teams committed a multitude of turnovers and offensive fouls, each offense struggling to find a rhythm or execute.
The Lady Spartans took a five-point lead with a layup by junior Emma Campbell after a steal.
Campbell pushed the lead to eight with a triple from the left wing, and Walz pulled down an offensive board for a put-back and a 21-11 advantage.
The 7-0 run was stopped by a bucket on the right side of the lane by senior Karlee Hitchcock, but Spring Creek regained a 10-point cushion with a long two-point jumper from the right wing by Cleveland.
At the break, the Lady Spartans were up double digits at 23-13.
Moretto scored on the right block from a pass by junior Shaylee Fagg, but Dimick scored on the break for Spring Creek from a nice cross-key pass by senior Ryley Ricks.
Moretto was fouled as she turned and buried both free throws, and Spring Creek continued its poor shooting from the stripe with a consecutive empty trips.
From a turnover, Whitaker pulled up and dropped a jumper from the right wing — making the score 25-19.
Dimick hit 1-of-2 at the stripe and, after struggling with Fallon’s press, the Lady Spartans broke into the open court — Ricks dishing another cross to Walz for an And-1 plus the free throw.
Moretto brought the game back to single digits with a free throw, making another 1-for-2 trip and making the score 29-21.
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Lamb made a clean trip to the stripe and pushed the margin back to 10 at 31-21.
Whitaker connected on a three and brought Fallon to within seven, but Dimick pushed the pace and took the contact for a hoop plus the harm and the freebie.
Cleveland splashed a jumper from a feed by freshman Rylee Keim, but Whitaker railed a triple from the left wing.
Keim then grabbed an offensive board and finished through a foul —hitting the free throw — her old-fashioned three opening a 40-27 lead.
Moretto closed the third with a strong drive from a pump fake and went glass for a deuce.
Entering the fourth, Spring Creek was up 11 at 40-29.
Whitaker hung in the air and drew a foul, hitting both free throws, pulling the Lady Wave to within nine at 40-31.
Campbell went 1-for-2 at the line for Spring Creek, Whitaker doing the same for Fallon.
Dimick pushed the lead to 43-32 with two freebies that never touched rim, but Moretto hit a midrange J from a difficult pass from near the end line by Whitaker.
Moretto worked inside and scored against a foul on a rifle pass from senior Kinsli Rogne, making the score 43-36.
Dimick and Walz each went 1-for-2 at the line — pushing the lead to 10 — but Moretto cashed another And-1 and hit the freebie.
Dimick drew another blocking call and hit both free throws for a 47-39 lead.
However, the Lady Wave surged — Moretto caning a jumper on a pass by Whitaker and Fagg scoring on the break from a dime by Moretto after junior Sam Frost went to the deck for a steal.
After another Spring Creek turnover, the lead all but evaporated — Whitaker hammering a triple from the left side.
With the score at 47-46, the Lady Spartans got a big bucket from Ricks on a runner down the lane.
Fagg drove the left side and scored for Fallon — making the score 49-38 with 35 seconds remaining — but the Lady Wave did not foul for 25 seconds.
With 9.2 ticks remaining, Ricks went to the line and hit the back end of her free throws for a 50-48 lead.
Fallon crossed midcourt and took a timeout with 5.8 seconds remaining.
On the inbound, Campbell jumped a passing lane and tipped the ball and was pushed from behind — earning a trip to the line.
She calmly drilled both shots and iced the contest, 52-48.
In defeat, Moretto dropped a game-high 21 points — Whitaker following with 18 points and sinking three 3s.
Spring Creek was led by 16 points from Dimick, followed by eight points apiece from Campbell and Walz.
Cleveland scored six points, Ackerman and Lamb added four apiece and the offense was closed for the Lady Spartans by three points each from Ricks and Keim.
Fagg finished with points for the Lady Greenwave, Sharron and Hitchcock chipped in a deuce apiece — Fallon’s offense rounded out by a free throw from Sandberg.