Courier sports staff
ALBIA — Makenzie Griffin scored 19 points including six of the final eight for the Albia girls basketball team, which had to rally from a nine-point deficit on Friday to maintain a perfect record in the South Central Conference. The Lady Dees outscored visiting Chariton 23-13 in the second half and got a key late basket by Katie Dyson and four clutch free throws from Griffin to clinch a 47-43 win.
The victory keeps Albia a game ahead of Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont in the SCC standings as the Lady Dees moved to 6-0 in conference play. The Lady Dees made their second comeback from a halftime deficit against an SCC opponent, however, as Chariton used a 9-1 run in the first half to help build a 24-15 lead in the second quarter.
Down 30-24 at halftime, Albia allowed just five points in the third quarter and got within two at 35-33 heading into the final quarter. The game remained just as tight through much of the fourth quarter as Albia edged ahead, 41-39, heading into the final two minutes.
With just 1:44 left in regulation, Albia’s Katie Dyson drove down the lane and scored on a clutch short jumper to double the Lady Dees’ lead to 43-39. Chariton’s Alexis Curran trimmed the lead to 43-41 with a long jumper with 47.5 seconds to go.
After a Griffin free throw made it 44-41, the Chargers missed a long free-throw line jumper. Griffin nailed both ends of a one-and-one attempt from the foul line to put Albia up 46-41 with just 27.5 seconds left.
Both teams are back on the floor today. Albia (12-3, 6-0) heads to Grinnell while Chariton (4-8, 2-4) travels to Knoxville.