New Castle senior Chelsea Kiser didn’t enter the game until the final minute and didn’t score until the final 16 seconds, but it was enough to give the Trojans a 88-87 girls North Central Conference win over Anderson Saturday afternoon.

The Indians took their final lead at 85-84 with 36 seconds left when LaKeisha Noethtich hit two free throws.

The two teams then traded turnovers. New Castle’s Corie West, who topped both teams with 29 points, sailed a pass into the stands with 22 seconds left. Anderson took a time out.

The inbounds play resulted in an over-and-back call with 20 ticks left.

New Castle got the ball in under AHS defensive pressure designed to keep the ball out of West’s hands. But the pass went under to Kiser who hit the shot under close defense.

Anderson pushed the ball down the floor but freshman Whitney Clark was called for traveling on a jump stop move she had performed earlier in the game without a call.

West’s two free throws with eight seconds left put the Trojans on top 88-85.

On Anderson’s next trip downcourt the series of bizarre calls down the stretch continued. One official stopped play with three seconds left to give New Castle a time out that it couldn’t have called because the Trojans didn’t have the ball and they had no time outs left. After a brief huddle, five seconds were put back on the clock but while two of the officials huddled so did New Castle’s players with coach Curt Bell to set up the defense.

The best Anderson could get was a long-range 3-pointer by Teairra Graves that was partially blocked. Bryesha McCullough grabbed the loose ball and scored as time expired.

“I told the team that was a win,” said AHS coach Chad Wetz. “We faced a couple of extra obstacles. We had a couple of players hurt who couldn’t contribute (Paris Miles and Ashley McClendon). There were a couple of on-court circumstances we couldn’t control.”

One key to the game was the Indians sending the Trojans to the free throw line 42 times on 27 fouls. That was like giving the visitors license to print money. New Castle hit 36 of those 42 attempts.

“We were playing good defense and the whistle kept blowing,” said Wetz.

Most of the time it was West at the line, where she hit 15 of 17. But Amanda Lee and Kami Clemens were both 6 for 6.

Much of the contest New Castle trailed. Even though the Trojans weren’t behind by much, they couldn’t get over the hump.

But it was sophomore Madison Qualkenbush that provided the boost they needed. She hit the third of a trio of fourth-quarter 3-pointers with 6:19 to play to give the Trojans a 65-63 lead.

Qualkenbush finished with 18 points and Clemens was next with 12.

DeJa Wills topped the Tribe with 26 points. She did Qualkenbush one better in terms of fourth-quarter 3’s with four as she helped keep the Tribe in contention. Noethtich scored 15 points, Clark added 14 and Paige Wooten scored 12.

Anderson had a huge rebound advantage, 50-30. Nellie Eskew grabbed nine boards for the Indians while Noethtich and Makeeba Head had eight apiece.

The Indians (13-7 and 5-2 in the NCC) are home for Seniors Night on Tuesday against Frankton.

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