Mackenzie Miner around the defense

Fulton’s Mackenzie Miner (middle) tries to get around Jamesville-DeWitt’s Ava Sandroni during the first half of the Red Raiders’ 62-57 overtime loss to the Red Rams.

FULTON — Just a couple weeks removed from the first loss against Jamesville-DeWitt, the Fulton varsity girls basketball team was down by 13 at the half.

Then there was a philosophy change. Don’t try to win the whole game in the third quarter. Coach Derek Lyons said the team was determined to win two minutes at a time. The Red Raiders slowly chipped away at the lead. 

Fulton trailed by six points with 1:40 left to go in regulation. Full-court pressure, led by Fulton’s Maddie Baum, forced a few turnovers, eventually putting the Red Raiders down just 52-51 with 21.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Claire Broderick was fouled on a three-point shot with a few seconds left and made a free throw to tie the game 52-52, sending the game to overtime.

J-D’s long-range shooting in the overtime frame with a few 3-pointers was just too much to match, and Fulton fell 62-57 in overtime Tuesday at G. Ray Bodley High School.

“They could have quit and we could have lost by 20. But they didn’t,” Lyons said. “They showed the perseverance and the dedication and effort and attitude and family. All those things that we talk about, being locked in. They demonstrated those things in the second half.”

But the first half presented some issues for the Red Raiders. J-D got off to a fast 12-2 start before Fulton used its first timeout. Every time the Red Raiders started to climb back in the game, the Red Rams seemed to have an answer — and then some.

Natalie Frost scored the last point of the first half after sinking a free throw, putting Fulton down 28-15.

“I just wish, in the first half, we could get out better offensively,” Lyons said.

The Red Raiders went on a 5-1 run to start the third quarter before J-D called a timeout with 4:32 left. It remained a 10-point difference for a majority of the third quarter until the very end, when Frost and Mackenzie Miner scored on back-to-back layups.

Fulton trailed 40-32 heading into the fourth, keeping it within striking distance.

“When Natalie and Maddie (Baum) are out there, we can spread them out and use one-on-one more down there. That’s what we did in the second half especially with Natalie,” Lyons said. “Maddie is better off the ball. She’s better dribbling and going by somebody. She drew a bunch of fouls in the third quarter and did a nice job of that.”

Frost and Baum got things started in the fourth quarter, drilling layups after some good defensive plays — especially from Baum, who Lyons added “must’ve had at least 20 deflections” throughout the game.

As the end of regulation crept closer, Claire Broderick sank a 3-pointer from “four or five steps behind the three-point line,” Lyons said, mentioning it was a little “out of her normal range.”

With just seconds remaining, Broderick was fouled on a 3-point shot, sending her to the charity stripe for three shots. She made the first to tie the game 52-52 and send the contest to overtime.

“(Claire’s) our best shooter. … She is one of the best shooters in our league,” Lyons said. “We’ve got to do a better job of getting her a couple more opportunities.”

While Fulton made a couple deep shots in overtime, but the Red Rams just couldn’t be matched, including a couple free throws, pushing J-D to victory.

“In the second half, we scored almost 40 points. That’s a huge amount of points in the half. The girls know they have that ability. We have to make sure we do it for four quarters,” Lyons said. “If we do it four quarters, we’re going to be a very difficult team to beat. If we’re only playing two quarters, we’re going to put ourselves in those holes and have to dig out of them.”

Frost led the Red Raiders with 22 points, followed by Broderick’s 15. Baum chipped in nine points. Miner tacked on six. Carleigh Patterson added three points while Kayla McCraith recorded two.

Lyons said the generally balanced scoring of his team is a bonus, but wants to get even more depth out of his full lineup.

“Our first five, six or seven can score a bunch of points. Even our eight, nine and 10 — we were missing one today — we expect them to be able to score, too,” he said. “They’re not as confident right now. But we want to get them there. That’s our goal moving forward.”

Fulton (3-3) plays against Owego on Dec. 29 at Onondaga Central School.

After a game like Wednesday’s, Lyons said Fulton showed in the second half that the team “can compete” against tougher teams like J-D. 

“Beating Weedsport at the beginning of the year was a big win, but we have to win these (Class) A games that we’re playing in,” he said. “We’ve got to find a way to beat one of these teams. We’re right there. We’re on the cusp. We’ve just got to get over that hill.”