NAPLES — The numbers on the bench and the scoreboard didn’t favor the Moore Haven High School girls basketball team.
Despite a determined effort from start to finish from the Brighton Reservation trio of starting seniors Alicia Fudge, Burgundy Pierce and Caroline Sweat, Moore Haven’s season ended with a 48-41 loss to First Baptist Academy in a Class 3A-District 6 semifinal on Feb. 7 at FBA in Naples.
Moore Haven was the No. 3 seed; FBA was No. 2.
In their final game as Terriers, Fudge (18 points) and Pierce (12 points) combined for three-fourths of the offensive production. In fact, they scored the team’s first 10 points, which included a 3-pointer from Fudge near the end of the first quarter that pulled Moore Haven to within a 13-10 deficit.
But Moore Haven only had two substitutes on the bench and only one of those played. On the other side, FBA’s bench was chock full of players. Eventually, Moore Haven wore down.
The Terriers led 24-22 at halftime, but FBA took the lead with a minute left in the third quarter and never trailed again, although it was anything but a comfortable lead.
Moore Haven trailed 40-39 after Fudge made a layup and free throw for a three-point play with three minutes left in the game. But Terrier shots began hitting the front of the rim, a sign of tiredness as FBA finished the game on an 8-2 run.
Sweat scored two points in her final game and provided tenacious defense the entire night.
Although they fell short of qualifying for regionals, the Terriers generated plenty of highlights this season, notably a 17-6 record under coach Al Gary, by far the program’s best mark in at least the past 13 years.
They ruled the Lake by going a combined 3-1 against Okeechobee and Clewiston.