Lilly Wilder knifed her way through the lane and lifted the Father Ryan girls basketball team to a 40-39 Division II-AA Middle Region win over Brentwood Academy on Tuesday night in Nashville.
Wilder finished with a game-best 19, including 11 points in the fourth quarter.
“Lily Wilder embodies everything about our program, and that moment couldn’t have happened to a better kid,” first-year Father Ryan coach Tony McLeod said. “Our coaching staff was very proud of our girls for not giving up late in the game when we got down and for continuing to play until the end against one fo the best teams in the state.”
The matchup pitted the Lady Eagles – the No. 2-ranked DII-AA team – against No. 3 Father Ryan Tuesday.
After trailing early, BA went on a 9-4 run through the second quarter to earn a slim 19-17 lead at the half. The two teams traded blows through the next 16 minutes with Wilder scoring 16 of the Lady Irish’s 23 points.
Trailing 39-38 in the final seconds, Father Ryan inbounded from the sideline with 8.9 seconds remaining. Wilder was double-teamed on the inbound, but Arin Nipp stepped up to receive the ball and then handed off to Wilder, who used a Nipp screen to get a first step and slice her way toward the hoop for the game-winner.
"There's no final shot without that screen," McLeod said.
Trinity Fields paced the Lady Eagles with 11 points, while Jaila Lee added eight. Millie Brown tossed in seven points – all in the second half – and Taylor Crabtree also scored seven for BA, which has dropped two of three. The Lady Eagles fell at home 59-50 against top-ranked and unbeaten Ensworth, but rebounded with a 57-43 win over Lipscomb Academy.
Father Ryan will battle Ensworth for the first time this season on Jan. 26. They host Pope John Paul II on Friday.
Father Ryan girls 40, Brentwood Academy 39
BA 10 9 10 10 – 39
FR 13 4 10 13 – 40
BA (39) – Jaila Lee 8, Trinity Fields 11, Millie Brown 7, Taylor Crabtree 7, Finley Dennis 3, Felicity Chandler 3.
FR (40) – Sydnee Clunan 9, Marilee Hulse 5, Lilly Wilder 19, Maddie Dooling 4, Mary Mackie 3.
3-pointers – BA 5 (Lee 2, Brown, Dennis, Chandler), FR 5 (Wilder 2, Clunan, Hulse, Mackie). Total Fouls – BA 13, FR 15. Fouled Out – Hulse.