By Jeremy McDonald
DAYTON, Ore.—“I was pretty nervous about it,” Dayton’s Kya Lindell said about her last minute free throws.
The freshman was fouled twice in the final 18 seconds of the Pirates 35-30 win over Taft Thursday night in the opening round of the Dayton Tournament. Nerves or not, Lindell hit all four free throws to help make the difference in the contest and to keep the winning streak alive at six games.
Dayton’s defense was spot on in the opening half, holding the Tigers to 11 points and three in the second quarter as the Pirates led 16-11 at the halftime break. But Taft, who entered the game 4-2 on the year, didn’t shy away.
Using a 14-4 rally, Taft took a 25-20 lead into the fourth quarter. A quick 5-0 Dayton run followed to keep the Tigers in range for the win.
“They were definitely ready for us. Taft…they showed more aggressiveness and came out strong wanting it more,” Renika Oliveira said. “I’m glad we all got it together at the very end, we knew what we needed to fix so we just needed to do it.”
Taft’s Lily Hatton pushed the Tigers ahead thanks to a three-pointer before Oliveira made a lay-in moments later to answer. Dayton eventually went ahead 30-29 with 3:50 remaining in the game before Lindell scored the Pirates final five points in the final 3:15.
“I think we played really well in the fourth quarter. I think we’re capable of more, but I do think we battled hard,” Lindell said.
Lindell finished with 18 points in the Dayton win while Oliveira contributed ten. Hatton led the Tigers with eight points, Brooklyn Mangold contributed another seven points.
Dayton plays Santiam Christian Friday night at 7:30pm.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald