The Holliston varsity girls’ basketball team played white knight to Stoughton's Black Knights at Sharon High School on Monday.
Every time the Panthers' offense started rolling toward tying the score, Stoughton maneuvered a run itself toward checkmate, figuratively.
Stoughton won the Dedham Savings Bank Girls Basketball Showcase opener, 53-40.
"We just couldn't finish off," Holliston head coach Kristen Hedrick said. "We weren't boxing out well. They got a lot of second and third opportunities."
Stoughton (12-6) led 30-22 at halftime and built its lead to 12, 34-22, early in the third quarter.
A 6-0 Holliston (13-6) run cut that lead in half.
"They have a good team. They've got a lot of weapons. They had some great outside shots today. They have a powerful inside game," Stoughton head coach Janet Sullivan said. "We threw just about everything we had at them, and it took all of that."
Senior tri-captain and forward Katherine Chlus had 15 points, including 10 in the first half. Junior guard Emma Zuk added 10. Junior guard Mackenzie McGrath had 9, including a three-pointer which effectively sealed with win with 1:15 left in the fourth, putting Stoughton up 51-37 at the time.
Senior tri-captain and forward Chrystal Holland and junior forward Nicole Daniels added 8 each. After leaving Friday’s game at Mansfield needing stitches on her head, Holland made a quick return to the lineup.
"We have a number of weapons ourselves," Sullivan said. "Every game, somebody different steps us. Today, Katherine Chlus had a very strong game offensively and defensively. But Chrystal and Nicole, while they weren't as effective offensively, they were doing the job on defense down low, helping us with boards."
The Panthers got 17 points from senior co-captain and guard-forward Ashley Higgins, and 8 points from senior forward Emma Twomey.
The two-day tournament at Sharon High ends Tuesday.
Stoughton plays Notre Dame Academy of Hingham at 5 p.m., while Holliston plays Sharon at 7 p.m. Notre Dame defeated Sharon, 58-45, in Monday's second game.