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MERCERSBURG - Streaks of aggressive defense was the key in Friday night’s Mid Penn Colonial Division girls basketball matchup between the James Buchanan Lady Rockets and the Waynesboro Maidens.

With the Rocket gymnasium filled with energized fans, the rivalry match concluded in close fashion as a highly-contested 3-pointer fell short for JB's Tristen Amsley and Waynesboro edged James Buchanan, 47-44.

Waynesboro coach Allison Steiger said about her young team, “When they work together and don’t force the game and play tough 'D', they can accomplish great things on the court.”

James Buchanan (2-3, 1-2 MPC) scored the first two points of the game, but Waynesboro (2-4, 2-2 MPC) found its offensive stride and scored on the next four possessions from four different Maidens. With offensive rebounds and miscues occurring at times on the offensive end, the first quarter played fairly equal and Waynesboro led 14-12 after the first eight minutes.

The teams matched scores in the second period for a while. Following a James Buchanan mid-quarter timeout, a full-court defensive press was implemented and the Rockets found success with their aggressiveness. JB outscored Waynesboro 12-8 in the quarter and took the lead, 24-22, heading into halftime.

Aggressive defense continued into the third period, as James Buchanan forced three initial turnovers for the Maidens.

Steiger quickly called a timeout, and her team then put together several good offensive series and outscored the JB, 17-9 in the quarter, which put them ahead 39-33.

The Rockets weren’t quite done, and outscored Waynesboro in the final period 11-8. However, a crucial free throw made by Maiden junior Elizabeth Churchman halted the comeback. Churchman’s basket put Waynesboro up by three with 10 seconds left, and James Buchanan’s last-second effort did not go down.

James Buchanan coach Jenny Lauthers had some positive thoughts after her team’s disappointing loss.

“When our offense is not working or gelling, we need to play better-disciplined defense to help the offense come," Lauthers said. "We have plenty to work on, but the good news is there’s lots of basketball to be played.”

The leading scorer for the Maidens was junior Chelsea Cover, with 13 of her 18 points coming in the second half.

Cover said, “The win feels great; the season is coming together for us. Now we have a long way to go, but this win will help with momentum into (Saturday's) game (at Red Lion).”

For the Rockets, Charity Miller led with 15 points.

Waynesboro 47, James Buchanan 44 

Waynesboro (47)

Chelsea Cover 5 1-5 18, Olivia Gardenhour 3 4-7 11, Sara Gsell 2 1-5 5, Elizabeth Churchman 0 1-2 1, Cat Weber 4 4-8 12, Brooke Heise 0 0-0 0. Totals — 16 11-24 47.

James Buchanan (44)

Charity Miller 7 0-0 15, Madison Martin 0 0-0 0, Cassidy Martin 3 1-2 7, Rachel Martin 3 2-2 8, Nina Shatzer 1 0-0 2, Aspen Anderson 3 0-0 6, Tristen Amsley 3 0-0 6, Renee Sollenberger 0 0-0 0. Totals —  20 3-4 44.

Waynesboro _ 14 _ 8 _ 17 _ 8 _ — _ 47

James Buchanan _ 12 _ 12 _ 9 _ 11 _ — _ 44

3-point goals — Way 4 (Cover 3, Gardenhour), JB 1 (Miller).

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