A string of nine straight points in the fourth quarter Saturday helped Hershey get a 37-33 win at North Platte St. Pat's.Hershey (4-0) entered the fourth quarter with a 22-21 lead. St. Pat's took a 25-24 lead early in the fourth after Peyton Irish made a jump shot from about eight feet.
But the lead was short lived for the Lady Irish (2-1). Brooke Munsen made a pair of free throws to give the Panthers the lead and then Taylor Mustion later knocked down two more from the charity stripe.
Then with just over three minutes left in the game, Maegan Hiatt scored on a layup to give Hershey a 30-25 lead before Tayler Baker made a three-pointer on the next possession to make it an eight-point game.
The closest St. Pat's got was four after that.
"In the fourth quarter, we had some turnovers and they capitalized on them," St. Pat's coach Nathan Stienike said. "We played well the whole game except for that two minute stretch."
As good as both Hershey and St. Pat's have been in recent years, scoring has been at such a premium when the two SPVA rivals have met because their defense is so strong and Saturday's game was no different.
"St. Pats' defense is always strong," said Hershey coach Jeremy Thomas. "I wasn't surprised that it was so low-scoring because all five games we played last year against them were low-scoring."
At halftime, St. Pat's led 15-11 after they scored the last four points of the first half on free throws by Irish and Anna O'Malley.
"We struggled in the first half, offensively," Thomas said. "St. Pat's hit a couple of shots and that worried us a little bit. But the good thing is that we held them to 15 points."
Hershey scored the first seven points of the second half. Hiatt opened the third quarter with a three before Mustion and Maddie Seamann followed with buckets.
But that was the biggest lead the Irish allowed the Panthers to have in the third.
"We really picked up our defense in the second half," Thomas said.
Stienike said that he thought his team did a fine job defensively but it just didn't put up enough points, especially in the end.
"Offensively, we struggled to score," he said.
Score by quarters
Hershey 5 6 11 15 - 37
St. Pat's 2 13 6 12 - 33
Hershey (37)-Taylor Mustion 8, Mariah DaMoude 3, Ryce Troyer 2, Brooke Munsen 6, Maegan Hiatt 7, Tayler Baker 5, Maddie Seamann 6
St. Pat's (33)-Anna O'Malley 4, Erin Nozicka 2, Toni Caudillo 13, Peyton Irish 4, Bree Saner 6, Brittany Lawrence 4
Free Throws: H 4-6, SP 11-17; Three Point Goals: H 3 (DaMoude, Hiatt, Baker), SP 2 (Caudillo 2)