E.A. Sports Today

Lady Falcons hold off Sacred Heart

Donoho opens 14-point lead in third quarter, but Woodfin’s free throw in closing seconds holds off Sacred Heart rally

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Alysse Lalonde missed playing in her Senior Night game the day before. Nothing was going to keep her from playing Tuesday.

The Donoho senior was fighting off a stomach bug that had her hooked up to a couple IV bags for several hours Monday, keeping her from playing in Donoho’s Senior Night game with Cornerstone Christian. She participated in the ceremonies that evening, but was still too weak to get on the floor.

Her final home game was Tuesday against area rival Sacred Heart, and Lalonde was right in the middle of it. She played a big role in helping the Lady Falcons build a big lead before holding on to beat the Lady Cardinals 55-54.

“I was a little bummed (to miss Monday’s game), but I realize tonight is actually my last ever basketball game at home, so I was more excited to play this,” Lalonde said. “That would’ve been so bad if I hurt myself more during that game and I wouldn’t have been able to play for the rest of the week.

“I texted my coach yesterday morning after I was sick and was like ‘I don’t think I’m going to be able to play tonight.’ Once I came to the game she asked how I felt about (Tuesday) and I was like ‘I am definitely playing tomorrow no matter if I’m sick of not.’ I was not going to miss Sacred Heart.”

Lalonde scored nine points, all in the second half. She had seven in the third quarter.

“She was a little nervous to play me because she thought I was going to be too sick and that would hurt me for the JCA game on Friday,” Lalonde said of coach Melissa Smyly, “but I played and played a lot better than I thought I was going to. I’m just glad we got that win.”

Actually, in the grand scheme of things, Tuesday’s game was much more important than Monday’s or Friday’s game.

This was a Class 1A Area 12 game and the victory solidified Donoho’s hold on the fourth seed in the upcoming area tournament at Faith Christian and gave it extra confidence when meeting Sacred Heart in the 4/5 play-in game next week.

It was their second victory over the Lady Cardinals this season, but this one was by far closer than the first.

Constance Hodges and Lalonde combined for 12 points in the third quarter to help Donoho build a 14-point lead. But Sacred Heart rallied behind seventh-grader Allashe Dudley and eventually cut its deficit to two with four minutes to play. Dudley led all scorers with 25 points – 23 in the second half.

Hodges turned back threats with a 2 and 3, then Anna Marie Woodfin sealed the victory when her free throw gave the Lady Falcons a three-point lead with 3.3 seconds left. Woodfin finished with 19 points.

Sacred Heart’s Morgan Calloway beat the buzzer with a layup for the final margin.

“I was really, really nervous because I knew if I could make the free throw it would give us a better lead,” Woodfin said. “Being able to make a layup or a two-point shot is way easier than being able to make a three-pointer.

“I knew it would be better if we had three points and I’d get another shot, so I knew it was really, really crucial to make the free throw. I’m just thankful that I made it.”

Donoho 55, Sacred Heart 54

SACRED HEART (0-12) – Allashe Dudley 8 6-9 25, Sydney Marion 1 1-2 3, Lott 4 1-3 10, Jarece Tillery 5 2-7 12, Unrayiah Barclay 0 0-0 0, Morgan Calloway 2 0-1 4. Totals 20 10-22 54.

DONOHO (2-14) – Anna Marie Woodfin 7 2-6 19, Kirin Heathcock 0 1-3 1, Campbell Hagan 1 0-0 2, Alysse Lalonde 4 0-0 9, Samantha Strunk 0 1-4 1, Savannah Frickey 3 0-0 7, Kelsey Jackson 0 0-0 0, Constance Hodges 6 1-4 14, Jenna Stremmel 1 0-0 2, Carley Hughes 0 0-0 0, Lauren Holbrook 0 0-2 0. Totals 22 5-19 55.

Sacred Heart 17 3 13 21 — 54
Donoho 11 13 18 13 — 55

3-point goals: Sacred Heart 4 (Dudley 3, Lott); Donoho 6 (Woodfin 3, Lalonde, Frickey, Hodges). Fouled out: Dudley, Lott. Total fouls: Sacred Heart 17, Donoho 25. Officials: Smith, Gamble, Sterling.

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