Mogadore Wildcats' defense in final seconds preserves win over Windham Bombers (with video)

By Colin Harris | Staff Writer Published:

Sometimes the plan is there, but the execution falls short.

Windham saw a golden opportunity vanish in five Mississippis as a failed inbounds attempt with just seconds remaining cost the Bombers in a 48-47 loss to Mogadore.

With 11.3 seconds remaining and the ball at midcourt after a timeout, the Bombers were whistled for a five-second violation after they were unable to inbound the ball.

Windham head Gregg Isler said following the game that the game plan was solid, but Mogadore's defensive effort prevented it from being executed.

"We knew that (Mogadore) was going to double (standout sophomore guard Jessica Isler), so we were trying to get the ball to another player," Isler said. "Mogadore defended us well on that play and we were just unable to adjust."

The turnover gave Mogadore (7-10, 6-5) back the ball and Wildcats guard Grace Reilly was quickly fouled.

Reilly missed her foul shot attempt and Bombers forward Dari Heller pulled down the rebound. Heller pushed the ball up to Isler, who got one last shot at a 3-pointer off -- an attempt that would ultimately fall short of the mark as time expired.

The win capped off a furious second half rally by Mogadore, which closed a 30-22 halftime deficit to get back into the game.

Reilly scored 13 of her 21 points in the second half and was joined by Ashley Barker (5 points) and Naomi Pollock (6) as Mogadore's three second-half scorers.

Mogadore took the lead to begin the fourth quarter as Barker and Reilly hit back-to-back 3-pointers 53 seconds apart to turn a 40-38 Bombers lead into a 44-40 Wildcats lead.

Windham (11-9, 6-6) briefly re-took the lead two minutes later on two Isler foul shots, but Barker gave Mogadore the lead for good the next trip down on a layup.

"Mogadore hit some really big shots down the stretch," Isler said. "Those two 3-pointers they hit to begin the fourth quarter really hurt us."

Barker finished her night as the only other Wildcats player in double figures, scoring 16 points -- including two 3-pointers.

Mogadore head coach Tom Pollock said his team could not put together the successful run it has since starting the year out 0-9 if it weren't for the play of Reilly and Barker.

"We know that we're going to have to rely on Ashley and Grace offensively to be successful," Pollock said. "They do a great job for us and I think our defense played well -- especially someone like Jordan Jeter, who played well on that end."

The Wildcats trio of Pollock, Reilly and Barker outscored Windham 24-17 in the second half as the Bombers struggled down the stretch. Windham scored just seven points in the fourth quarter and only one field goal -- a Heller layup with 1:05 remaining in regulation.

Heller finished with another double-double to pace Windham, leading the team in both scoring (18 points) and rebounds (12). Isler finished with 17 points on the night, including Windham's lone 3-pointer.

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