It was a true team effort last Monday as all four senior Lady Comets varsity basketball players scored and two underclassmen clinched the victory.
The non-conference win over a very tough and determined Keystone team was the fourth win in a row for Amherst.
“We played extremely well in the first half. We put together another half that went as well as the last couple of games we played with continuing really great defense. I think we relaxed in the second half,” said coach Kevin Collins.
The Comets dominated the Wildcats in the first half, scoring 22 points while holding off the deadly shooting of McKenah Peters and Darcy Irish.
Sydney Click, Brianna Crapo, and Sydney Roule all hit for three-pointers.
Mallory Sliman, Sher Champe, and Brooke Wallace each hit twice from the floor. Natalia Joseph made the first of her two free throws for the night.
Keystone was held to three baskets, one from Peters, a three-pointer by Irish, and another hoop from Madi Bonner for a 22-9 score at the half.
The start of the third quarter saw a let-up in the Comets offense though the defense continued to contain the Wildcats.
Trouble came from multiple Amherst fouls that opened the scoreboard to a barrage of free throws. Keystone made 15 of 25 foul shots to get back into contention.
“We let them in the game. You let teams in the game and they’re going to give you a dogfight. They’re a young team over there but they’ve got some talent,” Collins said.
The savior of the evening was Wallace. She scored all three Comets goals in the second half and added four free throws as the Wildcats evened the score at 31 with just two minutes remaining.
“She’s special,” Collins described Wallace. “When she starts to trust her left hand a little bit more I think she’s going to be that much more special. She has all the moves in the world to the left. Now she has to finish them with that left hand.”
The third of her hoops pulled Amherst to a 33-31 lead. Peters hit one of her free throws to pull the ‘Cats within one point.
Sara Elliott managed to draw a foul that sealed the win for the Comets. She sank both for a 35-32 Senior Night victory.
“Sara hit 12 in a row against North Olmsted. She’s not afraid of the spotlight. She steps up and makes shots. I think toward the end she was trying to do a little too much handling the ball,” said Collins. “Those free throws were huge. She’s a top player and she’s only going to get better.”
Asked after the game how she felt leading her team to a big win, Wallace gave credit to her teammates’ belief in her.
“I didn’t even know I made that many baskets. I feel like I missed more than I made. My team kept passing to me, especially Sher Champe. She never gives up on me. She’s like I’m giving you the ball. You’re going to make the next shot,” she said.