ERIE — The Erie girls basketball team did so much right through the first 31 minutes to go toe-to-toe with visiting No. 8 Windsor, only to do so much wrong in the final seconds to drop its regular-season finale 48-42 on Tuesday night.
After the game, Tigers coach Noel Potter took a deep breath before he began listing all of his team’s mistakes in the final moments.
“Missed free throws, missed shots, bad shots, fouling the wrong girl on their team — I think our lack of playing basketball really showed down the stretch there,” Potter said. “I mean, at this school I don’t think we play enough basketball during the offseason, and tonight, and in these types of games, it shows.”
Erie’s two season-leading scorers kept them on the same plane as the Wizards through most of the game, as Amanda Ochoa scored 11 of her 14 points in the first half, while junior teammate Serena Gudino chipped in 10 of her 14 points in the second half.
But in the end, there was no Tigers finish to be found.
In fact, they missed four consecutive free throws and five straight shots in the final 40 seconds to drop their second in a row to close the regular season.
“Shots just weren’t dropping,” said Gudino about the final seconds of the game. “I was missing shots I usually make. And I know so were a lot of us. I don’t know what happened.”
With the win, Windsor (20-3 overall, 14-0 Tri-Valley league) remained undefeated in league.
Korbyn Ukasick led the Wizards with 14 points, while 6-foot-1 Brooke Pemberton scored 12 of her own, including a pair of free throws with 23 seconds remaining to all but seal the deal.
“I think we were a little scared in the beginning,” Ukasick said. “We didn’t come out with as much intensity as we needed to.”
And Erie took advantage.
Ochoa put Erie on her back in the first half, shooting over 60 percent on her way to 11 points. And in the final minute of the half, the senior guard cut a five-point deficit to 22-21, thanks to four-consecutive points to close the half.
Then in the second half, it was Gudino’s turn.
In the third quarter, the 5-10 lanky junior hit a quick 3, before she later finished a 3-point play to give the Tigers the 31-30 edge with 4:30 left in the quarter.
But in the fourth, the Tigers went cold.
Gudino led all Tigers with a lowly four points in the frame, as Erie missed four of five from the line.
But sure enough, once the horn sounded and fans headed for the parking lot, Erie finally rallied.
Inside the home locker room, the players chanted their school song, knowing there season won’t go away quietly, heading into the postseason as the third or fourth seed out of the Tri-Valley League.
“We played with them all game even though people thought we were going to get trampled,” Gudino said “We know what we can do without silly mistakes.”
Windsor 48, Erie 42
WINDSOR (20-4, 14-0)
Lemos 3 3-5 10, Ruff 1 2, M. Griggs 1 2, 2 4-6 8, Ukasick 5 14, Pemberton 5 2-2 12, S. Griggs 0-2 0. Total: 17 9-15 48.
ERIE (13-10, 8-6)
Ochoa 5 2-5 14, Kudrna 2 4, Gallagher 1 0-2 2, Romey 1 2, Gudino 6 1-1 14, Zeier 3 0-1 6. Totals 18 3-9 42.
Score by quarters:
Windsor 10 12 13 13 — 48
Erie 11 10 12 9 — 42
3-point field goals — Windsor (5) (Ukasick 4, Lemos 1). Erie (3) (Ochoa 2, Gudino 1). Team Fouls — Windsor 13 Erie 14. Fouled out — None Technical fouls — None.