by Bill Turner
William Fleming withstood a fierce fourth quarter rally by cross-town rival Patrick Henry as the Colonels prevailed 54-52 to secure a first-place tie in the Western Valley District girls basketball race.
Fleming and Franklin County finished the regular season with identical 6-2 district records, setting the stage for a playoff game to crown the winner.
The Colonels looked to have this one in control with a 40-31 lead heading into the fourth quarter. PH, however, kept chipping away before cutting the Fleming lead to one point twice in the final minute. A pair of Patriot turnovers with the chance to take the advantage allowed the Lady Colonels to win at the free throw line.
Fleming had a balanced attack that saw ten players hit the scoring column. Erika Coleman and Ryjae Anderso led the way with 8 points each, followed by Keshonda Haynes, Antoinette McBride and Keashe Lee all chipping in 7.
The PH comeback was led by game-high scorer Shekeia Salter’s 22 points. Zaynah Stephens had 15 for the Lady Patriots, with Jewell Parfitt adding 9.