PRINCETON — With her team trailing 37-29 going into the final quarter, Sadie Boggess gave herself a mental reminder last Friday night.
“Don’t quit,” she recalled.
Neither the point guard nor the rest of the Princeton Tigers quit, fighting back for a tense 49-46 win against the River View Lady Raiders.
The victory on the Coach Ralph Ball Court snapped a two-game losing skid for Princeton (8-7).
“We needed it, we needed to keep our heads in the game, we couldn’t lose sight of the win,” Boggess said.
“We put our hearts into it. We’re pushing, 110 (percent), all game.”
River View (10-4) trailed at halftime 23-21 and fell behind by six points just two minutes into the second act.
The Lady Raiders closed out the third quarter with an impressive 14-0 run, keyed by five points from Madison “Mouse” Blankenship.
The Tigers’ first four possessions of the fourth quarter were fruitless; three ended in turnovers. But defensive rebounding helped limit River View to a single field goal in a span of six-plus minutes.
Princeton retook the lead for good 43-41 on a quick field goal by Boggess with just under three minutes remaining, and converted 6 of 8 free throws after that.
Boggess sank the second of two foul shots with 12.1 seconds to go to give Princeton a three-point lead. That turned into the final score when, fittingly, Boggess stole the ball with a second to go, creating River View’s 14th turnover of the night.
Princeton head coach Tracy Raban said, “We came out a little too rusty (due to illnesses on the team), and soft, and didn’t match their intensity, so we dug ourselves a hole there. ...
“But I thought, as the game went on, we did match their intensity, and got back to the team ball we’re used to playing.”
“If we win ballgames, it’s because of our defense. I felt that’s what we did late in the game.”
Boggess had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Taylor Scott bagged four treys and ended with 15 points and five boards. Lauren Parish had six points, six rebounds and three steals. Laken Dye added eight points for Princeton.
River View committed 22 called fouls and Princeton was whistled for 17 as the two teams jostled aggressively for advantage all night.
Kristen Calhoun of River View fouled out with 1:39 left in the third quarter, and the loss of one of the Lady Raiders’ leaders was significant.
River View head coach Gehrig Justice said he took “full responsibility” for that.
“I didn’t know Kristen had four fouls; I thought she had three,” he said. “That obviously impacts the game.”
He heartened back to Princeton’s bucket in the paint as time expired in the first half, putting the home team ahead by two.
“Tonight, I thought we played hard,” he said.
“We got caught loafin’ (at the end of the first half) and that ended up being the difference.”
“Other than that, I thought we played for 31 minutes and 56 seconds as hard as we could play.”
Calhoun and Emily Auville each had 12 points for the Lady Raiders and Blankenship tossed in nine. Auville collected a team-high seven rebounds.
On Monday, the Tiger girls picked up another win on the road against Shady Spring 65-38. Tonight they return home to face Riverside at 7 p.m.
Tom Bone is a freelance reporter for the Bluefield Daily Telegraph and the Princeton Times. Contact sports at email@example.com