Taylor and Lauren Gough have been assisting each other for more than a decade, but Taylor's assist to Lauren at the beginning of Wednesday's game may be the most memorable one.
The sisters, who make up two-thirds of a set of triplets, have always been teammates in basketball and soccer in South Western's program. Their careers together include many successes, including a pass from Taylor to Lauren during a soccer game last season that earned each of them a school record and was mentioned in Sports Illustrated's Faces in the Crowd series.
But they haven't been able to play together this basketball season, after Lauren tore the anterior cruciate ligament in one of her knees in a Mustangs soccer scrimmage last summer. That is until Wednesday, when Kevin Klunk started both girls for the team's senior night.
Spring Grove allowed South Western to win the opening tip-off, as Taylor Geiman tapped the ball to senior Nigea Hardison - who has a torn ACL of her own - who passed to Taylor, who passed to Lauren for a layup. Spring Grove then scored a layup to tie the game, and Taylor hugged her sister as she returned to the bench for the remainder of a 59-31 win.
“I was trying not to cry and I really didn’t want to miss my layup because that would’ve been really awkward," a teary-eyed Lauren Gough said after the game. "I made it, so I was really happy about that, then when Taylor hugged me as I was coming off, I just cried.”
The moment had been in the making from the beginning of the season, as Klunk had seen Kennard-Dale do the same thing for one of it's seniors two years ago.
"That gave me the idea," he said "There are so many ACL tears with girls, it’s something you’re gonna run into because it’s so common unfortunately.”
He presented the idea to Spring Grove coach Holly Baublitz, who agreed with no hesitation.
“Last year, we had a girl that tore her ACL and Dallastown did that for us," Baublitz said. "Being a former athlete, I know what it means to be able to do that on senior night. We were blessed to be able to do that for her and her team.”
It wasn't just special for Lauren, it was special for Taylor, too.
“It was really sweet of him to let me get the assist," Taylor Gough said with tears in her eyes. “It was really special that we got to do it together.”
South Western 59, Spring Grove 31
Spring Grove (31)
Missy Katz 5 3-5 13, Morgan Hagerman 2 2-2 6, Naylor 0 5-6 5, Ball 1 2-4 4, Maddie Hagerman 0 1-2 1, Marquette 1 0-0 2. Totals — 9 13-19 31.
South Western (59)
L. Gough 1 0-0 2, Taylor Geiman 7 4-4 19, Madi Wisensale 5 0-0 14, Jacey Shipley 2 6-6 10, Feeser 1 3-4 5, T. Gough 1 0-0 2, Walker 1 1-1 4, McMaster 2 0-0 4. Totals — 20 14-15 59.
Spring Grove _ 6 _ 13 _ 7 _ 5 _ — _ 31
South Western _ 14 _ 16 _ 15 _ 14 _ — _ 59
3-point goals — South Western 5 (Wisensale 4, Geiman 1).