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Indians edge ’Cats at buzzer

Fitchpatrick hits shot to lift Hart

Posted: February 11, 2009 1:56 a.m.
Updated: February 11, 2009 4:52 a.m.
 
After a tumultuous season that has centered around controversy, the Hart girls basketball team made lasting memory that all the Indian players can cherish.

Senior Brianna Fitchpatrick hit a runner at the buzzer to give Hart a 54-52 win on senior night, as the girls brought the Indian faithful to its feet.

“Tonight we played smart,” said Hart head coach Zach Koebel. “We were focused on battling back and played with great emotion. I’m glad that our seniors could end their home careers with a great win.”

Christina Falcone gave Hart (2-22, 2-7) a 52-51 lead with less than a minute remaining when she hit a pair of free throws, but West Ranch captain Alex Ritz answered by hitting 1-of-2 from the line.

“We set them up with an opportunity by not playing strong defense,” said West Ranch head coach Randy Smith. “We left the door opened, and they capitalized.”

Hart capitalized just before time expired on Fitzpatrich’s buzzer-beating lob to give her a game-high 19 points. Erin Ruiz paced West Ranch with 17.

“It’s really hard to put into words,” Koebel said. “We’ve been close to picking up a win like this, and tonight we put it all together. I couldn’t think of a better game to get a victory like this after all the transition this team has gone through.”

The win shows how far Hart has come this season since the Wildcats (12-12, 5-4) managed to beat the Indians in spite of 30 turnovers in the teams’ first matchup less that three weeks ago.

“Hart made some great plays tonight,” Smith said. “It’s a disappointing loss for us, but we know we need to work to improve on executing or these are the kind of games we’ll lose.”

kdamore@the-signal.com

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