(Right) Raven Enders looks for a teammate in scoring position against the Rox while (left) Lauren Webster scored 12 points.
The North Clay seventh-grade Lady Knights had every opportunity to put away the visiting Rockville Lady Rox in the first half of their Thursday meeting.
The offensive scheme coach Scott Fosdick has been drilling all season began to click, giving the Knights plenty of chances at wide-open, high-percentage shots. But North Clay couldn't convert on those opportunities, missing 10 lay ups in the first half alone and allowing Rockville to sneak away with a 30-28 victory.
"We could have put that team away in the first half," Fosdick said. "You make your lay ups in the first half, it's over. That's it."
The Knights appeared to be in control in the early going. Jenny Gabriel broke a scoreless tie just over a minute into the game, and Lauren Webster converted a steal on the ensuing possession into a 4-0 North Clay lead. A runner in the lane by Rockville's Beth Mahurin put the Rox on the board at 3:36, and the two teams traded blows for the remainder of the quarter.
Chelsey Sampson opened the second for North Clay by converting on a heads-up pass from Webster, who recorded the assist as she hurtled out of bounds, for an 8-4 lead. But Rockville made the Knights pay for all those missed opportunities, scoring six straight to take a 10-8 lead with 1:18 left before the break.
North Clay would regain the lead by the end of the half, but the Rox surged ahead in the third, outscoring the Knights 10-4 in the quarter for a 20-18 lead heading into the fourth.
Rockville didn't slow down in the final frame, but North Clay managed to stay in the game thanks to a lights-out performance from Webster. The diminutive point guard scored the first six points of the quarter for the Knights, burying a pair of free throws at 2:31 for a 24-24 tie and dishing to Gabriel a minute later for a 26-24 lead.
But the rest of the Knights couldn't sustain Webster's energy, and the Rox won on a buzzer beating lay in by Mahurin.
Webster finished with 12 of North Clay's 28 points, with Sampson and Gabriel adding six apiece.
North Clay host Sarah Scott on Wednesday beginning at 6 p.m.