It looked like Stoughton's girls basketball team was going to wrap things up with a game-defining run Friday night.
Down two points with over eight minutes to play, the Vikings used a 9-0 spurt over a four-minute span to earn a three-possession lead with just over four minutes left in the game.
Milton got as close as a point in the final minute, but the Vikings closed the Red Hawks out, 48-43, in a Badger South Conference game at Milton High School.
A pair of free throws from senior Abbie Campion cut the Milton deficit down to 44-43 with 1 minute, 18 seconds to play. But the the Red Hawks were held without a field goal in the final minute. Milton also missed three free throws in the final 30 seconds and had a lane violation on another attempt.
“It was the little things again,” Milton head coach Stacy Skemp said. “Props to Stoughton. They kept after us, and they finished the game. Knocked down free throws and did the little things, where we didn’t."
Down 13-8 with 10:27 to play in the first half, the Red Hawks (7-13, 4-8 Badger South) used a 7-0 run to take a 15-13 lead with just over eight minutes to play until halftime.
The Milton offense stalled over the final 8:23 of the half—connecting on just two field goals—but the Red Hawks defense surrendered just five points over the final 10 minutes of the half.
“Our press was great for 90% of the game,” Skemp said. “The girls were where they needed to be. We got a lot of turnovers on our press. Half-court defense in stretches was really good.”
Milton led 20-15 at the break.
Two made free throws from senior Shelby Mack-Honold gave Milton its biggest lead of the night at 29-22 with 13 minutes to play.
But the Vikings (7-12, 3-8) scored seven straight to tie the game.
With Milton up 34-32 with 8:34 left in the game, Stoughton went on another run, this time a 9-0 stretch.
Down 41-34 with 4:18 to play, senior Abbey Falk connected a 3-pointer to cut it to 41-37.
Campion scored four of Milton’s next six points to trim the deficit down to one with 1:18 left.
Milton was held scoreless the final 1:17.
Mack-Honold scored a team-high 12 points for Milton, eight of which came from the free-throw line. The senior guard has shot a combined 29 free throws the past two games.
“Shelby has a nose for the lane,” Skemp said. “She sees that opening and is like a bulldog, she’s not going to let anyone step in front of her.”
Stoughton sophomore Ava Loftus scored a game-high 14 points.
Milton will head to Monroe in a Badger South game Thursday at 7:15 p.m.