With less than five minutes to go, Hanover looked set for an easy road win at Fairfield, but the Knights had other ideas.
The Hawkettes were ahead by 18 points, but they didn’t rule out the Knights for good until Reagan Wildasin made a pair of free throws with four seconds left in Hannover’s 43-39 win in the Premier League. YAIAA-3 women’s basketball action on Tuesday night. at the Richard Stroup Gym in Fairfield.
Wildasin’s hoop with 4:56 remaining gave the visitors a 39-21 lead, but the hosts were far from finished.
Maddie Neiderer hit a triple with 4:05 to go and Wildasin replied on the ensuing possession.
Hanover (12-5, 8-3) did not score again until Wildasin’s gifts which won him.
Between the two, Fairfield (7-9, 4-7) received a trifecta each from Maddie Cromwell, Breana Valentine and Neiderer to score the 15-0 run, and Neiderer’s bombshell closed the gap to 41-39 with 16 seconds remaining.
“Our girls looked defeated going into the fourth quarter,” Fairfield head coach Andrew Ditty said. “During a time out, I challenged them to get a spark and they did. They showed a ton of heart and never gave up tonight.
Freshman Riley Stigler was fouled with six ticks remaining but was out of place at the front of a one-on-one that could have increased Hanover’s advantage.
Braiden Wastler was fouled by Wildasin on the rebound, but also missed the front of a one-on-one and it was rebounded by Wildasin, who was immediately fouled.
“I was counting my dribbles, following my normal routine at the foul line and trying to stay calm,” Wildasin said. “It was a great relief after the first one came in.”
The first quarter looked like a stone fight as neither team could find the distance and Hannover slipped out of the frame with a 5-4 lead.
The Hawkettes picked up the scoring pace in the second quarter, while the Knights remained frozen.
Fairfield came out just 2 of 24 (8%) from the field in the first half and went into intermission down 22-9
“Hanover is playing solid defense, so you have to give them credit for that,” Ditty said. “But we didn’t shoot the ball well tonight.”
The visitors extended their lead twice to a game-high 19 points at 32-13 and 34-15, and held a 34-19 advantage heading into the final stanza.
Hannover star Jaycie Miller entered the game with 16 points to reach 1,000 for his career, but Fairfield senior Emma Dennison limited not only his points but his shot attempts and even his touches.
Miller finished with a season-low two points on 1-of-4 shooting from the field.
“I think my defense is good because I’m a football player too,” Dennison said. “Jaycie is a great player. She moves a lot and it’s hard to stay with her. I try to react to everything she does.
Hannover head coach Denny Garman said: “We came here to win a game tonight and that’s what we did. It says a lot about our girls to be able to win a game when Jaycie only scores two points. We had other girls step up and fill the void.
Wildasin was one of those players who filled the gaps, scoring a game-high 12 points while also grabbing a game-high 14 rebounds.
“Reagan didn’t have a great night (Monday) against Waynesboro,” Garman said. “She really bounced back and we needed everything she gave us tonight. I’m not sure she realizes how well she played tonight, but she was excellent.
Stigler also cracked in double digits scoring 10 points.
Fairfield was trailing by 12 points from Maddie Cromwell and 10 points from Neiderer.
Both teams are trying to qualify for the District 3 playoffs in their respective classes, Fairfield in 2A and Hannover in 4A. The Knights entered the game holding the fourth and final spot. Meanwhile, Hannover finished 11th in a class that takes the top 10.
It will be a quick turnaround for the Knights as they host Delone Catholic on Wednesday, while the Hawkettes’ next game is at York Catholic on Thursday.
Follow Tom Sixeas on Twitter at @TomSixeas
Hannover 5 17 12 9 — 43
Fairfield 4 5 10 20 — 39
Hanover (43): Annie Smith 2 0-0 6, Peyton Conover 2 0-3 5, Alanys Perez-Beltran 1 1-5 3, Jaycie Miller 1 0-2 2, Lola Garman 1 1-2 3, Riley Stigler 3 2-3 10, Keana Noel 1 0-0 2, Reagan Wildasin 4 4-4 12. Totals: 15 8-19 43.
Fairfield (39): Maddie Cromwell 4 2-2 12, Emma Dennison 2 2-4 6, Breana Valentine 3 2-3 9, Braiden Wastler 0 0-1 0, Maddie Neiderer 3 2-2 10, Kira Weikert 1 0-0 2. No- goalscorers: Kayleigh Bollinger, Emma Battern. Totals: 13 8-12 39.
3 points: H-Smith 2, Stigler 2, Conover; F-Cromwell 2, Neiderer 2, Valentin