CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Greenbrier East's hot shooting combined with Charleston Catholic's cold touch in the second quarter led to a big lead for the Spartans.
Luckily for East, when the law of averages started to even up both the shooting totals and the scoreboard, the Spartans saved just enough to get by.
Chaunte McDowell hit the second of two free throws with just over seven seconds left to put East up by three points, and Catholic's Hannah Gallian was fouled before she could launch a possible game-tying 3-pointer with 3.6 ticks remaining.
Gallian missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and Class AAA No. 2 Greenbrier East corralled the rebound and ran out the clock for a tough 60-57 win Monday night at the Charleston Catholic Athletic Complex.
The Spartans (16-1) hit 15 of their first 22 shots, including 8 of 9 3s, to build up a 41-25 advantage early in the third quarter. That included a 17-5 advantage in the second quarter.
But Class A No. 7 Catholic (13-5) was far from done and used a 25-9 run to come all the way back and tie the game at 50 midway through the fourth quarter.
"We shot the ball good, but we're a scrappy team and we let them just out-rebound us and pick up the 50-50 balls and we didn't have an offensive rebound at halftime, that's unthinkable," Greenbrier East coach Jim Justice said.
While the scrappy and much smaller Irish earned a 35-29 rebounding advantage and forced 20 turnovers, they still needed shots to fall to get back into the game in the second half.
Freshman Vida Imani provided those in dramatic fashion, hitting a 3-pointer and, after an East turnover, another trey as time expired in the third quarter, turning a 47-37 deficit into a 47-43 game.
Imani scored 10 of her 17 points in that period, but didn't even get a shot off in the fourth as Justice adjusted his defense to cover her with quicker guards that were better able to close out on long jumpers.
"I understand why they did it, Vida got really hot," Catholic coach Zack Bogan said. "We were trying to run a lot of screening actions with Caroline [Dundervill] to free people up and then attack and find open players. It just so happened Vida wasn't the one we found."