JORDAN — Alexis Braun found some time and space, and sunk a key three-pointer.
The senior's bucket in the final minute gave the Eagles a four-point lead and the team fended off a last second effort from the Lancers, as the Jordan-Elbridge girls basketball team topped LaFayette, 39-36, at Jordan-Elbridge High School Monday.
Despite not needing a three-pointer in the moment, Eagles coach Leslie Ahern had confidence in Braun.
"She's got a great stroke and a nice release," Ahern said. "Usually if she's that open and she spots up, she's going to can it."
Braun finished with 13 points, nine steals and five assists, and Katie Goodrich recorded 10 points and three boards. Ashlee Eaton chipped in eight points, four rebounds and three steals, while Allison Jennings had four points, five rebounds and a pair of steals.
The Eagles jumped out to a 7-3 advantage in the first three minutes, but the rest of the first half featured back-and-forth action. The lead changed hands four times, with Jordan-Elbridge taking a 16-15 lead into halftime.
The Lancers pulled ahead in the third quarter, and at one point extended their lead to six points. Jordan-Elbridge buckled down on defense and started to chip away at its deficit.
"Hustle. Just grit," Ahern said of what sparked the comeback. "We couldn't make a bucket, so we had to beat them on the defensive end. We had to get some steals and get some easy layups, because there was a lid on the basket all night for us."
Goodrich tied the score with 3:35 left in regulation. The Lancers briefly retook the lead, but Braun put the Eagles back in front with 1:09 left and drained the key three-pointer to create breathing room with 36 seconds left.
LaFayette had a chance to hit a game-tying bucket at the buzzer, but it hit the rim and stayed out.
"It was nice to see our seniors step up," Ahern said. "(Braun) tore ligaments in her ankle the first day of practice and was on rehab for 10 days. She's struggled and has to tape her ankle beyond belief just to come back and play. For her to hit that game winning shot? She needed that for her confidence."
For Ahern, she has a solid core that is surrounded by a lot of new faces. The veteran coach is still figuring out how the team is coming together.
"My four starters, I know what to expect and I know what they can do," Ahern said. "For everyone else, it's a learning game to see what they can bring to the court."
Jordan-Elbridge (1-1) continues the season by hosting Skaneateles on Wednesday.
"If my kids can make a couple shots, I think they're very beatable," Ahern said.