HOLDEN - Jaycee Hughes scored 46 points, including a length-of-the-court drive with under five seconds to go, helping Holden defeat Albany 67-65 in a non-district showdown.
It was a thrilling regular-season finale for Holden, the defending Class B champions, while Albany still has two games remaining.
“Our fans are amazing,” Hughes said, as she tried to catch her breath following the final buzzer. “Both teams had their chances, and we played until the last second went off the clock.”
Both teams are in good position for high seeds in the postseason with Holden (20-10) ranked sixth in Class B, while Albany is second in Class 3A.
Hughes’s game was a solid bookend to the see-saw affair in which she was perfect from the field in the first and fourth quarters. Early in the game, she was the primary reason the Lady Rockets maintained a 17-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.
That seemed to awaken Albany as its defense allowed just one field goal in the midst of a 9-3 surge. Camryn Woods hit a backdoor layup with five minutes left in the first half to give the Lady Hornets their first lead, 21-20.
Woods led her team with 21 points.
“We expected a game like this,” Holden co-coach Pam Forbes said. “This is such an intense rivalry and the girls play very hard. Both teams made their fair share of mistakes, but we were able to survive this one.”
It was also a free throw by Woods with under 20 seconds left in the second quarter that knotted the game up at 31-31, which would be the score at the half.
Woods got Albany (20-12) back in front when she hit a three-point shot with 5:29 in the third quarter, which was the first three-pointer of the game by either team.
“We gave it everything we had,” Woods said. “This is always a tough game when we play each other, and this time, they came out ahead.”
District 7-B tournament gets underway Tuesday
Holden hosts the District 7-B postseason tournament beginning Tuesday.
No. 3 Maurepas meets No. 2 Mt. Hermon at 3:30 p.m. followed by the top-seeded Lady Rockets meeting fourth-seeded Kenner Discovery at 6 p.m.
The two winners meet in Friday’s championship game at 6 p.m.
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