By Jeff Nations
WOODSTOCK -- Host Massanutten Military Academy's girls basketball team seemed to stockpile its offense for a fourth-quarter barrage against Randolph-Macon Academy.
Luckily for the Yellow Jackets, they saved a few shots of their own for the closing eight minutes as R-MA turned back the Colonels' rally for a 35-30 non-conference win on Thursday.
Held to just 17 points through the first three quarters, MMA (3-6) came up with 13 over the final frame to inch ever closer. A layup by the Colonels' Mara Dorsey off her steal pulled MMA to within five with 49 seconds to play, but that was the end of it. R-MA was able to run out the clock for the win.
"We haven't been in a close game like that where we've been down, so it was tough to try and teach them how to do that on the spot," MMA coach Ryan Dowler said. "We don't have enough practice time to be able to do things like that. I tried calling timeout -- they wouldn't give me a timeout."
R-MA (6-7) jumped out to a 10-5 first-quarter lead, as point guard Anastasia Voellm buried a pair of 3-pointers to spark the Yellow Jackets.
Behind Dorsey (game-high 16 points) and Chelsea Reid (14 points), the Colonels fought back to within 16-13 in the second quarter, but another 3-pointer by R-MA's Caitlin Bunker and Cheyenne Jameson's buzzer-beating jumper staked the Yellow Jackets to a 21-13 halftime lead.
"We had a couple of wide-open layups that we should have made, but then our wings were hitting a lot of open 3s," R-MA coach Jeff Moxie said. "We shot a lot better overall than the last couple of games."
R-MA increased that lead in the third quarter, outscoring the hosts 8-4 over that period. MMA struggled offensively all night, with no player scoring other than Dorsey and Reid as the Colonels were forced to play without leading scorer Selah Applin due to a one-game suspension for getting ejected from the previous day's game.
Dorsey was happy her team pulled together despite missing Applin's presence on the court.
"The other players stepped up, too," Dorsey said. "They got rebounds, they got steals, they did everything. I'm real proud of them today."
Emmanuela Imansuangbon led the Yellow Jackets with nine points, while Voellm added eight and Jameson had seven.
"We were able to pull through and make our shots when we needed to, which was great," Jameson said. "It wasn't as comfortable a lead as we would have liked, but we pulled through in the end. I'm just happy we got the win."
Contact Sports Editor Jeff Nations at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or email@example.com>