Dudley ekes by Bishop girls

Nov. 30, 2012 @ 11:15 PM

The smallest breaks made the biggest difference for the Bishop McGuinness girls in their opener Friday against Dudley.

After leading by five at halftime, the Villains hit a bit of a lull in the second half that opened the door for the Panthers to make a couple key plays down the stretch and hand Bishop a 52-49 loss at Dudley.

“I liked our effort. We did a lot of good things,” Villains coach Brian Robinson said. “Dudley did expose some things — which I thought they would. Hopefully this type of game will get us better for the long run. ...

“We had some foul trouble early in the third quarter that stagnated us for about four minutes. Those four minutes turned the game around, from us being up three or four to being down three or four. But it’s a process, and I think we’ll get better down the road.”

Tied 37-all after three quarters, Dudley (3-0) scored on three of its first four possessions of the fourth to grab its first lead of the second half and slowly stretched it to as much as four with 3:56 left and 1:55 left.

Bishop (0-1), the winner of seven straight state titles, whittled the lead to two in the final seconds and, after one made free throw with 4.3 seconds left, had a shot to tie, but the 3-pointer on the run rimmed out at the buzzer.

Julia Brown had 15 points to lead the Villains, who open Northwest 1A/2A Conference play Tuesday against Surry Central, while Alex Putman had 13 and Cameron Nieters had 10. Akela Maize and Moriah Davis had 13 to lead Dudley.

“It was a great test,” Robinson said. “We’d like to win, but I think we got everything out of it except the win.”