In a game that came down to the final seconds, 's girls basketball team used a late run to come from behind and edge The Archer School, 41-40, on Thursday night in Santa Monica.
With Archer (15-6 overall, 6-2 in the Delphic League) leading by five points early in the fourth quarter, the Roadrunners (9-12, 4-3) reeled off eight consecutive points to grab a 41-38 lead. Panthers guard Danielle Hausberg knocked down a pair of free throws to close the deficit to one, but a late steal by Crossroads' sealed the victory.
"We didn't play with the same kind of intensity and passion in the first half that we did when desperation set in," Archer Coach Denny Lennon said.
That desperation set in after Crossroads scored the first six points of the second half to extend its lead to 28-19. Archer responded by rattling off the final 12 points of the third quarter, taking its first lead of the game, 33-31, on Hausberg's three-pointer with 35 seconds left. Archer put an exclamation point on the quarter with a long jumper by Coco Maurice, who finished with a game-high 18 points.
Early in the fourth quarter, Crossroads Coach gathered her team to remind them what happened when the teams last met on Jan. 18. In that game, the Roadrunners grabbed a large lead before the Panthers rallied for a 56-50 win.
"We've really worked on finishing games and making smart plays," Smith said. "They just maintained their focus. I'm so proud of them."
Despite Thursday's loss, Archer is still very much in the race for the league title. The Panthers are just a half-game behind first-place Lancaster Paraclete with two games remaining. The two schools meet Tuesday at Santa Monica College in a game that could decide the league champion.
"We have a good record," Lennon added. "If we can find a way to get those next two, we can probably get a pretty good seed in the playoffs. We just gotta be able to put this one behind us and play Tuesday night. That's big time."
Crossroads hosts Downey Calvary Chapel at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, and closes out the regular season at Lancaster Paraclete next Thursday.