Rams girls team edge Lions
In a recent three-game stretch, the Ligonier Valley Rams girls basketball team suffered two tough conference losses but also pulled out a last-second victory against the United Lions.
The Rams traveled to Saltsburg Jan. 4 to tip off with the Trojans. Ligonier Valley fell behind 12-6 after the first period and could never catch up in a low scoring contest. Saltsburg won the game, 45-34. Amanda Ross had nine points to lead the Rams. She also contributed seven rebounds and two blocks. Kyra Ludwig scored seven, grabbed five rebounds and stole the ball three times. Taylor Rudnik, Madison McLaughlin and Helene Bloom each scored six. Rudnik had six steals as well.
Ligonier Valley played host Jan. 8 to the United Lions. Five players scored for the Rams in the first quarter, topped by seven points from Rudnik. Ligonier Valley led after one, 14-9. The teams played evenly over the course of the second and third quarter, each squad scoring 29 points. Ludwig was the top contributor for the Rams over this middle half of the game, scoring 11 points.
The Lions pulled even to stay early in the fourth quarter. The game, which had been physical and hard-fought throughout, became a back-and-forth affair from that point onward. Ligonier Valley was up by two, 62-60 when United stole the ball and scored to tie the game, with just 1.9 seconds left. The game appeared headed towards overtime.
The Rams inbounded the ball with a long pass to Ludwig, who started dribbling and preparing to shoot. The senior guard was fouled on the floor, with 0.4 seconds left. Both teams had long been in the double bonus. Ludwig missed the first free throw but made the second to put her team ahead, 63-62. The Lions attempted to get off one last, long shot, but were unsuccessful and Ligonier Valley pulled out a thrilling victory.
Ludwig scored 22 points in all, including 11 in the fourth quarter. She also stole the ball 12 times and assisted on three baskets. Rudnik's strong inside work helped give the Rams an early lead, finished with 16 points. She had eight rebounds as well.
McLaughlin scored nine points and stole the ball six times. Bloom added six points. Heming had 12 rebounds, five points, four blocks and three steals. Ross and Kari Kuhn also scored.
The Ligonier team traveled to Blairsville Jan. 2 to face the Bobcats. The Rams fell behind 15-6 after the first quarter and could never recover. Blairsville won, 63-21.
Rudnik, Ludwig, Ross, McLaughlin, Bloom and Molly Horrell scored for Ligonier Valley.
The Ligonier Valley varsity record is 7-4 overall and 4-3 in the Heritage Conference. The Rams traveled to Purchase Line Jan. 15 and will travel to Homer Center today. Ligonier Valley is at home Monday with a game against Conemaugh Township.
Doug Kurtz is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.