By Richard Miller on February 24, 2021
The First Flight Middle School girls basketball team finished their successful 2021 season 8-1 after losing to Perquimans Middle School by a score of 29-28 in the Albemarle Athletic Conference tournament final on February 23. The game was marked by fierce competition for every loose ball, pass, and drive up the court. Both teams were off to a slow start with a score of 6-2 at the end of the first quarter buzzer, First Flight with the lead. First Flight was unable to score in during the second quarter and Perquimans pulled to a 12-6 lead at the half. First Flight came out of the locker room for the second half fired up and at the end of 3, the score was 17-18, Perquimans.
The fourth quarter was reminiscent of a boxing match with the fighters going toe-to-toe. These 6 minutes were dominated by scrappy play by both teams and the ball, as well as the lead, changed back and forth. But it was the final minute of play that was pure excitement. Hard, good play, found at any level of basketball competition. First Flight had the lead 28-27 with seconds left on the score board. Following some free-throws, Perquimans in-bounds the ball under the First Flight basket to #22 Lailana Harris. Harris drives the ball up court down the right side near the team benches and when she reaches the baseline, she launches a HIGH arching shot towards the basket some 15 feet away. In what seemed like slow motion, the ball floats in the air on the high arch and swish! Perquimans scores with one second left. The score 29-28. First Flight has trouble in-bounding the pass and the remaining second quickly ticked off the clock.
The scene that followed was a clear example of the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.” Since both teams had played so hard, the scene had to be played out. This time it was Perquimans that tasted victory and First Flight defeat. The girls on both teams should be proud. It was a good and memorable game.
Additional photos of this game are available at richardlmillerphotography.com.