MOUNT VERNON — It was obvious in the closing minutes of Tuesday’s opener that the Mount Vernon Yellow Jackets had a new attitude.
Mount Vernon allowed an 11-point lead to slip away in the final four minutes of the game against Westerville Central, only to muster the energy to regain the lead and hold on for a 56-53 victory at The Hive.
“I looked at our faces when (Central) took the lead, and I didn’t see any panic,” said Mount Vernon head coach Joe Rucker. “In the past couple of years, we probably would have folded in that situation. But we made some big plays when we had to.”
The Jackets (1-0) fell behind, 52-50, late in the fourth period on a pair of free throws by Central’s Kelsey Merriam. At the 1:06 mark, Mount Vernon’s Madi Montgomery responded with two free throws of her own to tie the game.
Mount Vernon took the lead when Sierra Basista grabbed the rebound from a Central miss and took it the length of the court, finding Sammy Cunningham in the paint for the short jumper with 33 seconds left.
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