Mark Schmetzer reports:
After leading for most of the game, Mason’s first girls’ basketball victory over Princeton in at least eight seasons was slipping away in the fourth quarter.
Vikings junior guard Jada Ballew connected on a putback to complete Princeton’s comeback from an 11-point deficit to a 40-40 tie with 6:34 left in their Greater Miami Conference game Saturday at Princeton.
Instead of folding, the Comets regrouped. Senior guard Sarah Ammons made a free throw 14 seconds later to give Mason the lead for good. Missouri-bound senior Kayla McDowell followed with two free throws with 5:50 left, helping the Comets put together a 12-1 run on their way to a 54-45 win over the No. 1 team in the Enquirer’s Division I coaches’ poll.
“I just think we’re a senior-led team,” said McDowell, who scored 14 points and played all but 30 seconds. “We just looked at each other and said, ‘This is not going to happen again.’ We pulled tight and stayed together.”
According to the GMC website, Mason had lost at least 11 consecutive games to Princeton, starting in Nov. 2004. The records don’t go back further, and Mason coach Rob Matula didn’t know the last time the Comets, the Enquirer’s No. 2 team, had beaten the Vikings.
“It is big,” Matula said. “It’s 1 vs. 2 in the city at their place. It’s huge. It’s a big win for us, but I’m not going to say it’s bigger than any other win.”