ANNVILLE -- Despite a frustrating night offensively, Elco’s Lady Raiders did just enough to squeeze by host Annville-Cleona, 40-37, Wednesday night in a county and Lancaster-Lebanon Sections 3-4 girls’ basketball crossover game.

Elco notched its ninth victory of the season in 14 tries and moved to 6-4 in L-L 3. Annville-Cleona’s season-long rocky ride continued, as the Little Dutchmen fell to 3-11 overall and 2-8 in L-L 4.

Coach Ashli Shay’s Raiders never locked down the contest -- witness its largest lead being six points at 29-23 late in the third quarter. Elco took the lead for good late in the first half when the Raiders snapped a 17-all tie, but whatever edge they achieved never felt comfortable. A miserable 4 of 14 night from the free throw line didn’t help the cause.

“I felt for us; there was a huge struggle to score,” Shay said. “Our foul shooting was not good tonight, and it’s usually much better than that. We had a ton of takes to the basket where we thought we might get to the line but they were rimming out.

“I thought we attacked and got there well, we just didn’t finish for whatever reason.”

Trailing 38-37 inside two minutes to play, A-C had possession and a chance to take the lead, but turned the ball over.

Jordan Rosengrant came off the bench for Elco in the fourth quarter and scored only two points, but her bucket was huge – a cutting layup with 1:14 to play gave the Raiders that 40-37 edge and just enough cushion to see it through.

After an in-bounds pass bounced off Taylor Bossert’s knee in Elco’s backcourt with 4.4 seconds left and gave the Dutchmen possession, A-C’s Chloe Inman rimmed a 3-pointer two ticks shy of the buzzer that would have tied it and forced overtime.

“And that’s been the story in six or seven games this season that have been very close, very competitive,” A-C coach Roger Hayes said. “Series of events happen down the stretch and we can’t get over the hump. That’s something that we continue to struggle with and we’re just not there yet. Errors at critical parts of the game; it comes down to execution.”

Elco freshman forward Ryelle Shuey continued her emergence, booking a strong Wednesday night. Her tandem with fellow forward Alexis Thomas proved crucial, because the Raiders got precious little offense from the perimeter. Thomas tied Shuey for team-high honors with nine points.

“Ryelle’s a great athlete,” Shay said. “She’s very strong and physical to the basket, quick first step with the ball. She’s tough. She did a great job getting the ball to bucket.”

A-C got the bulk of its offense from Inman and Meredith Bachman. Inman scored 10 points from varied spots on the hardwood; Bachman found the hoop six times with slashing layups and added two from the charity stripe to pocket a game-high 14 points.

The late surge from the Dutchmen (a 14-9 margin) to cut it to 38-37 came when Hayes’ club started hitting from the perimeter.

“We’re starting two sophomores and a freshman, so we’re really happy to be able to pull out a win on the road in these situations,” Shay said. “The first half we felt fairly comfortable packing it inside and taking away their penetration game, which they do pretty well. They started hitting some outside shots and that forced us to come out. We’re just happy getting out of here with the win."

Elco 40, Annville-Cleona 37 

Elco (40)

Taylor Bossert 2 0-1 5, Chandelle Keller 4 0-5 8, Jordan Rosengrant 1 0-0 2, Victoria Irvin 0 0-0 0, Emily Bidelspach 0 0-0 0, Alexis Thomas 4 1-3 9, Julia Nelson 2 2-2 7, Ryelle Shuey 4 1-3 9. Totals — 17 4-14 40.

Annville-Cleona (37)

Morgan Zimmerman 0 0-0 0, Hannah Fischer 0 0-0 0, Michaela Singer 3 1-2 9, Meredith Bachman 6 2-2 14, Addison Hayes 2 0-0 4, Chloe Inman 3 4-8 10, Steph Inman 0 0-0 0. Totals — 14 7-12 37.

Elco _ 10 _ 11 _ 10 _ 9 _ — _ 40

HomeTeam2 _ 11 _ 6 _ 9 _ 11 _ — _ 37

3-point goals — Elco 2 (Bossert, Nelson); A-C 2 (Singer 2).

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