ADAMS TWP — Mars’ formula for staying perfect in section play did not include 31 points from Laryn Edwards.
That’s what Hampton’s senior guard put up in Monday’s 54-52 victory over the host Planets in a battle of section unbeatens.
“She was not this dominant last season,” said Mars coach Dana Petruska of Edwards, a 3-year starter. “I thought we could stop her tonight, but they proved me wrong.”
Trailing 53-52 with six seconds remaining in the game, Mars’ Tai Johnson drove toward the basket, but Hampton’s Julia Powers drew a charge against the junior guard.
Ali Collins made one of two free throws at the other end for a two-point lead. Mars’ Ellie Coffield got off a shot from well-beyond the 3-point line that bounced off the front of the rim as time expired, preserving Hampton’s victory.
“We’ve been talking about clogging up the middle,” said Hampton coach Tony Howard. “She (Powers) is a role player and for her to step in and sacrifice her body like that, I’m very proud of her.”
Edwards scored 26 points in the first three quarters, after which the Talbots (9-2, 6-0) held a 41-32 lead. But a 16-3 run by the Planets, sparked by eight points from Johnson, pushed Mars to a 48-44 lead. Edwards broke the momentum with a pair of free throws with 3:18 left.
When Ellie Coffield sank a bucket with a minute left, the Planets took what would be their last lead of the night at 52-51.
Coffield came off the bench to score 12 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in the second quarter when the Planets desperately needed offense. Other than her two treys, Mars was 1-of-10 from the field in the period and trailed 28-20 at intermission.
The Planets missed several shots underneath the basket during the game.
“I think a section game like this against Hampton, it’s a rivalry for the kids, but Ellie is a freshman. I don’t think she cares who we’re playing and it helped her play with composure. She had a few mistakes, but she hit some big shots for us.”
Johnson ended up scoring a team-high 20 points, but it was Edwards’ effort that highlighted the game. She drained 17 points in the first half.
Lauren Wasylson added 11 points for Mars (9-4, 5-1).
The Planets and Talbots will meet again Feb. 8 at Hampton.