CORINTH - For three quarters, the Lake Dallas girls basketball team stymied Denton Ryan with its half-court trap defense. Ryan then made it all back and nearly stole the game in the fourth quarter.
Enter Dorian Norris, Lake Dallas’ senior captain and a varsity mainstay since her freshman year.
The Lady Raiders scored 22 fourth-quarter points and both teams were tied at 40 with seven seconds remaining before Norris took the ball the length of the court, drew a foul on a layup attempt, and made the winning free throw with 0.4 seconds remaining.
Norris missed the second free throw on purpose, time expired, and Lake Dallas escaped with a 41-40 District 8-5A victory.
Norris made amends with the winning free throw after throwing the ball away on the previous Lake Dallas possession - when the Lady Falcons led 40-38 and simply had to hold the ball and wait for a Ryan foul.
“That’s what a senior captain does,” said Jordan Davis, Lake Dallas head coach. “She’s such a fighter and a leader, and after she made that turnover, we knew we wanted to get the ball to her for the final possession and create. That’s what she always does for us.”
Lake Dallas led 39-36 with 40 seconds remaining before Larissa Moser (18 points) was fouled on a made layup. Moser made the free throw to tie the game.
Norris then missed a layup on the other end, but Nashaya McCoy got the offensive rebound, was fouled, and made one of two to take a 40-39 lead.
Through three quarters, Lake Dallas held Ryan to 18 points - including only two in the third quarter. But the Lady Raiders hit two 3-pointers to open the fourth quarter, and the flood gates stayed open to the tune of 22 points in the final frame.
Lake Dallas forced six steals out of its half-court trap alone following a made basket. However, Ryan found its footing in the fourth quarter and was able to navigate through the trap.
“I was pretty excited with how our defense played in the first three quarters, but players are going to make plays in the fourth quarter, and it looks like we got a little tight and maybe overthought some things, too,” Davis said. “But we ultimately did what we had to do, and I’m proud with how we finished.”
Sophomore Jorja Elliott scored 16 to lead the Lady Falcons, and Norris finished with 10. Senior Josephine Elliott scored 10 as well.
Moser did most of her damage in the fourth quarter, scoring 12 of her 18 points in the final frame.
Friday’s game marked the end of the first round of district games; Lake Dallas’ only loss in the first round was to first-place Denton Braswell.
“We got beat up pretty bad against Braswell, but overall, I was pretty happy with the way we played in the first round of games,” Davis said. “Now we’ve just got to put our heads down and keep going. If we iron some things out and keep playing the way we’ve been playing, we’ve got a good shot.”