Maryville, Bangash outlast Heritage, 43-40
By Grant Ramey | (email@example.com)
Scott West knew Leila Bangash would be a matchup nightmare for Heritage.
He probably didn’t know she’d do most of her damage from the free throw line.
Bangash, Maryville’s 5-foot-8 junior guard, led all scorers with 20 points Friday night against Heritage, including connecting on seven free throws in the fourth quarter, and Maryville outlasted the visiting Lady Moutaineers 43-40 for a come-from-behind district win.
Jordan Johnson had 15 while Leah Thomas and Kassi Knight scored 9 each for Hertiage (10-6, 2-4). Kayla Tillie added 11 points and seven rebounds for Maryville (6-7, 4-2).
“We gave them every opportunity,” West told The Daily Times after the game. “But we found a way to win and that’s all that matters.
“I was afraid when we got down seven, as young as we are, we may call it in.”
Seven was Heritage’s biggest lead after using a 10-2 run to turn a 20-19 deficit into a 28-21 advantage.
“We came down and hit a big shot, had a couple defensive stops,” West said. “We weren’t doing a very good job of getting it were we need to get it.”
“We hustled and got after it pretty good,” Heritage coach Rick Howard said. “We quit bombing (shots in the second half) and shooting them quick, like we did in the first half.
“We were patient with some plays, got some good looks. Then we turn the ball over and it snow balled after that.”
The snowball started with Maryville’s run, using buckets from Kadia Steele and Tillie sandwiched around a pair of Bangash free throws, to tie the game at 28-all just before the end of the third quarter.
That’s when the game moved to the free throw line for both teams.
Heritage made 9 of 11 free throw attempts in the final fourth quarter while Maryville made 9 of 14.
The two teams, which combined to shoot 43 free throw attempts on the night, scored just 8 points from the field in the fourth quarter.
Heritage scored nine of its 11 fourth-quarter points from the line. Bangash had 11 in the fourth quarter, including going 7-of -8 from the free throw line.
“Laila was going in and being very timid for some reason,” West said of Maryville’s early-game offensive struggles.
“I knew she was going to be a matchup nightmare. She’s been that for everybody, she’s averaging 16.5 a game. You don’t know how to guard her.”
Tillie’s 3-point play tied the game at 33-33 in the fourth quarter before Bangash gave the Lady Rebels the lead for good with a pair of free throws on the following possession.
“I thought that stretch in the fourth quarter, Kayla Tillie got a couple really big buckets and she rebounded like crazy from the guard position,” West said. “There was a lot of grit out of that team.”
West said he’s been trying to get Banhash to work on adding another dimension to her game, to add to the matchups problems against future opponents.
“My goal is to get her shooting 3s, which she can do,” West said. “Right now she’s stubborn and won’t do it. She wants to go, go, go.
“If she’ll dedicate herself and knock down some of those 3s, you can’t guard her. They’ll step out and she’ll go inside out. Put it on the floor and she’s going to be a problem for everybody we play.”