WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. – Playing in their second game of the Tampa Bay Christmas Invitational, the Warren Lady Dragons earned a hard-fought 47-46 victory over Millington Central (Tenn.).
Trailing 46-45, Emma Ruhlman hit the go-ahead shot with eight seconds left and, after a pair of timeouts, the Warren defense, which was led on the afternoon by Riley Childress and Sam Ruhlman, forced a tough potential game-winner for the Trojans’ Keria McGhee that was off the mark.
See the final shot attempt here:
Games coming down to the last shot are what we are use too at #TBCI. Great game between Millington (TN) and Warren Area (PA) l. Warren Area (PA) gets the win. #PlayinFL #FLSportsCoast @FLSportsCoast @PlayInFlorida @SheGotGame7 pic.twitter.com/CEOvWrYpT7
— TB Christmas Tourney (@TBChristmasInv) December 31, 2021
“I think the biggest lead we had all game was seven,” said Warren coach Lisa LaVan. “We probably got five defensive stops in a row (in the fourth quarter), but couldn’t connect on the other end until Emma’s shot.”
Childress finished with a team-high 15 points and Emma Ruhlman 14 against the Class 3A school out of Tennessee (the state has four classifications) located 17 miles outside of Memphis. Ruhlman also had 10 rebounds.
“It was a very physical game,” LaVan said, noting that Hallee Kuzminski and Emma Ruhlman got some battle scars along the way.
Kayla Dotson led Millington with 17 points, Micaiah Halliburton 12, and McGhee 10.
“She’s a player,” LaVan said of McGhee. “Riley guarded her most of the game. They were a very athletic team and got up and down the floor.”
Sam Ruhlman and Alana Stuart finished with five points each for the Lady Dragons, with Ruhlman knocking down a fourth-quarter three, while Gracie Ruhlman and Kuzminski netted four apiece.
“Stu came off the bench and gave us some great minutes,” LaVan said. “And Gracie, she really battled. She’s not afraid of anybody.”
The Lady Dragons are now 1-1 in Florida and 6-1 overall. They wrap up their trip on Saturday at 12 p.m. against Faith Christian (Fla.), a 66-61 winner over Lakewood (Fla.).