CORNELL — The last shot didn’t come quite the way Cornell girls basketball coach Jason Ewings drew it up.
But it almost worked anyway.
A last-second attempt from Brooke Elliott just missed in the final seconds as the Gilmanton Panthers squeaked past the Cornell Chiefs 52-50 on Monday night.
Gilmanton’s Morgan Bork’s basket with six seconds left put Gilmanton ahead by two points. Following a timeout, the Chiefs were able to make their way down the court and get a shot off before the final horn, but Elliott’s shot rode the rim and rolled off to give the Panthers the win.
“We were trying to work one of the kids open for a three (pointer), but it just didn’t develop that way,” Ewings said. “But it was nice to see they readjusted on the fly. We got a good shot, but we didn’t lose that game on the last play. We lost it on multiple opportunities, our weakside defense was just atrocious tonight.”
A back-and-forth game throughout, Cornell and Gilmanton traded the lead six times and were tied on 10 other occasions.
Cornell trailed 50-47 with just under 40 seconds to go following a free throw from Brittany Laehn. The Chiefs worked the ball up the court and Cornell sophomore Makenzie Ewings drilled a 3-pointer to pull the home team even at 50.
Ewings finished the night with 18 points, eight coming in the final quarter. Bianca Winter scored seven points and Hannah Ash and Elliott each added six for Cornell (6-9).
Cornell led by as much as seven in the second half after a basket from Hannah Ash put the Chiefs up 31-24 with 5:37 left in the third quarter.
But Gilmanton responded with a 10-2 run to take a 34-33 lead. After that point, neither team led by more than three points. That seven-point lead was also the largest lead of the game for either squad.
Laehn led Gilmanton (5-10) with 25 points, including a 13-for-15 effort from the free throw line. She entered the game averaging over 20 points per game and Ewings said he knew she’d get her points and was happy with how his team defended the Panthers scorer.
“Our kids did a pretty nice job, I thought, in man-to-man defense against her,” Ewings said. “Its just when you have a talented kid like that you have to take away the offensive rebounds, because they’re going to miss. Nobody makes all their shots.”
Bork scored 12 points and Cheyenne Loewenhagen added six points as the Panther scored many of their points on second chance opportunities.
The loss is Cornell’s fourth in a row. They return to conference play on Thursday when they head to Bruce to face the Red Raiders in East Lakeland action.
“They (Gilmanton) had opportunities and they knocked their shots down,” Ewings said. “We had more opportunities and we didn’t knock our shots down.”
GILMANTON 52, CORNELL 50
Gilmanton 12 10 13 17 — 52
Cornell 10 15 10 15 — 50
GILMANTON: Mueller 4, Branger 3, Bork 12, Peterson 2, Laehn 25, Loewnhagen 6. (18 16-22 11 52)
CORNELL: Thompson 4, Ash 6, Winter 7, Pahl 4, Elliott 6, Bohaty 5, Ewings 18. (23 2-9 17 50)
3-Point Goals: Gilmanton (0): None. Cornell (2): Bohaty 1, Ewings 1.
Fouled out: Gilmanton: None. Cornell: Pahl.