Alexis Calderon drained 3-of-4 free throws in the final 14.3 seconds of regulation to propel Jacksonville to a 52-48 victory over Hudson Tuesday night at the John Alexander Gymnasium.
The game was the season opener for the Fightin' Maidens, while the Lady Hornets saw their record even out at 1-1.
Perhaps the biggest revelation of the evening was that Calderon, an all-region talent who transferred to Jacksonville from Henderson in the off season, has several different ways of beating a team.
After sitting out the first half (coach's decision), Calderon went 0-for-7 from the field in the final half, but her speed and athleticism fired up the Maidens and forced the Lady Hornets to commit 15 turnovers in the second half, compared to only four miscues in the more pedestrian opening half.
Hudson was able to stay within a whisker due to the Maidens being unable to capitalize on most of the Lady Hornet mistakes, as Jacksonville didn't exactly have its finest night shooting.
With Hudson ahead 47-46, the Maidens took the lead for good when Grace Abercrombie sank a three from the right corner with 21.5 second left in regulation that bumped the Maidens to a 49-47 lead.
After a Lady Hornet made 1-of-2 free throw attempts with 15.9 ticks left to cut the Jacksonville lead to 49-48, Calderon took over from the charity stripe.
Jacksonville trailed 29-24 at halftime, which wasn't exactly a bad thing considering the team was playing without its starting point guard (Calderon).
“I really didn't know what to expect given that this was our first game and that we started off with out Alexis,” Jacksonville head girl's basketball coach Lynn Nabi said. “I thought if we could stay in the game in the first half that we could come back in the second half with her on the court.”
Abercrombie led Jacksonville in scoring by knocking in seven triples to finish with 21 points.
Tyshera Gipson tossed in 12 points to go along with a team-best nine rebounds while Ke'Onshay Fuller had eight points and three rebounds.
Courtney Myers had a timely three in the second quarter and hauled down three boards, with freshman Ashley Freeney also tossing in three points.
Jacksonville will play its first road game of the new season on Saturday when it visits Athens. Tip off is set for 2 p.m.
SUB VARSITY — Hudson nabbed wins in both of the sub varsity games. The Lady Hornet freshmen won 28-16 and the Hudson junior varsity topped the Maidens 28-23.