While Friday was a matchup of an 8-win Stoughton team vs. a 3-11 KP squad, the Warriors' girls' basketball team kept this game close until the final minutes, with the Black Knights coming away with a 60-51 win in Stoughton.
With KP ahead 33-29 with 5:55 left in the third quarter, Stoughton proceeded to go on a 13-0 run over the next 4:10 of play to take a 42-33 lead with 1:45 left in the third.
It's the type of run that could have put a team away, but a three-pointer from KP's McKenzie Richardson and a two-pointer from Alicia Cuoco to end the quarter made it a 42-38 game heading into the fourth.
After trading points to start the fourth quarter, Stoughton was up 48-44 when Kayla Motley grabbed a rebound off a missed shot and kicked it out to Emma Zuk for a three-pointer. Nicole Daniels followed with a basket and Ashley Medeiros sank two free throws, and suddenly Stoughton led 55-44 with 4:18 to play.
But back-to-back scores from Richardson and Cuoco got KP within six, trailing 55-49. The Warriors had the ball trailing by the same six-point margin, 57-51, with less than two minutes to play, but couldn't convert.
After the KP miss, Medeiros found Daniels underneath the basket for two points. The bucket gave Stoughton a 59-51 lead with 1:10 left, and finally ended KP's comeback hopes.
"I'm very pleased with the way the kids did respond at the end using the clock, running the ball around. They played some smart ball down the stretch and that's what we needed because [King Philip] would not go away," Stoughton coach Janet Sullivan said.
"That is a team that is destined to win some games down the stretch. Their record does not reflect how good a team they are and how hard they play and how tenacious their defense is," Sullivan said of the now 3-12 Warriors.
Stoughton, meanwhile, improves to 9-5, one win away from a postseason berth.
"I thought we kept pace with them. I thought we had our chances. Stoughton is a very good team. You don't want to take anything away from that. Their coach does a great job," KP coach Sean McInnis said. "But, I'm just so proud of where our girls have come since the start of the year."
McInnis said the team dealing with foul trouble "was a big issue for us" with multiple players having three or four fouls throughout the second half. Losing Maddie Purdue early on to injury was another obstacle for KP to overcome.
Richardson led KP with 18 points, while Cuoco had 14.
"We were able to get them some good hard looks at the basket and that's only because of everybody else doing good hard work and setting good screens and it was really good to see us working together as a team," McInnis said.
Grace Davis added 6 points for KP, while Amanda Johnson added 4.
Nicole Daniels led Stoughton with 16 points and 20 rebounds. Daniels, McGrath (18), Zuk (13) and Medeiros (13) all scored in double figures for the Black Knights.
In a back-and-forth first half, Stoughton led 12-9 at the end of the first and 27-25 at the end of the second. Stoughton then outscored KP by seven, 33-26, in the third and fourth quarters.
King Philip hosts Canton on Tuesday and travels to Attleboro next Friday.