It's been a long time since the Trion Lady Bulldogs last claimed a basketball win over rival Gordon Lee. And with three quarters in the books on Monday night, Trion was eight minutes away from ending what is believed to be a streak in excess of 15 years.
But the Navy-and-White simply refused to let it happen.
The Lady Trojans who managed just 28 points in the first three quarters, finally got their offense cranked up in the fourth and they threw in some defense for good measure. Down 40-28, Gordon Lee would outscore Trion 27-9 over the final period and escaped with a 55-49 victory over the improved Lady Bulldogs in the subregion matchup.
Free throw shooting was the key for the Lady Trojans. Gordon Lee (11-9, 6-4) went 23-of-31 from the line for the game and 16-of-23 in the fourth quarter alone. Trion also had a solid night at the line, making 14-of-18.
Gracie O'Neal was 6-of-8 in the fourth quarter at the charity stripe, while Faith Alexander went 4-of-6 to help spur the comeback. Alexander finished with 18 points. O'Neal ended her night with 14 and Gracey Kruse chipped in with 11 points.
Shayla and Tianna Youngblood had 12 points each for the Lady Bulldogs
In the night's second game, the two long-time combatants played evenly in the first half and into the third quarter. But Trion was able to take advantage, both inside and on the perimeter in the second half, as they claimed a 50-36 victory.
Trion led 10-2 with under 90 seconds left to play in the opening period. However, a three-pointer by Kannen Derryberry and a driving lay-up by Zander Smith would cut the lead down to three as the second quarter begin.
Later on in the second quarter, the Trojans would tie the game at 14 on another trey by Derryberry. The score would again be tied late in the half, but a running scoop shot by Trion's Josh Smith just before the buzzer would send the Bulldogs to the locker room nursing a narrow 19-17 lead.
Trion would earn some breathing room in the third quarter as they took a 35-29 lead into the final period. But the Bulldogs would put the game away in the fourth.
Jarrett Van Gurp scored six points in the paint and Jarrett Gill connected on his fourth three of the game to cap a 9-1 run that gave Trion its biggest lead, 44-30, with 4:05 left to play.
The Bulldogs would start taking the air out of the ball shortly thereafter, adding a couple of backdoor lay-ups down the stretch as they claimed the Region 6-A "A" victory.
Van Gurp had 18 points to set the pace for the Bulldogs. Gill finished with 14 points, while Smith chipped in with seven.
Derryberry had three triples and finished with 15 points to lead the Trojans (10-10, 2-8). Jacob Dyer was next on the list with nine points.
The two teams will meet up on Friday night, this time at Trion, starting with the girls' varsity game at 7 p.m.