Multiple newcomers to the starting lineups for both teams followed the same script as recent battles between the Pierce and Norfolk Catholic girls basketball squads.

This time, it was the preseason Class C No. 7 Bluejays which landed a big 3-pointer with 4 minutes, 18 seconds left and made enough free throws down the stretch to down the Knights 45-39 at the Norfolk Catholic Activities Center.

NC, which trailed the entire game, had cut a 33-21 third-quarter deficit to 36-30 with 4:34 left after Chelsey Reifert sank the front end of a one-and-one opportunity. Pierce rebounded the miss, and on the ensuing possession, sophomore post Maggie Brahmer found senior guard Ellexis Dunn near the right elbow 16 seconds later to push the lead back to nine.

The Knights never went away.

After Sidney Zimmerer made two sets of free throws for Pierce, Alex Anderson turned a defensive rebound into a driving layup and made two free throws after she drew a Pierce offensive foul on the next possession to slice it down to 43-38 with 1:38 left.

Hailey Lammers had a chance to make it a one-possession game with 40.1 seconds left, but missed her second free throw. Hailey Race answered with two free throws for Pierce with 29.1 seconds remaining. NC missed a layup, and after two missed free throws by Pierce, the Knights missed another shot before the buzzer.

Pierce.............10 13 10 12—45

NC....................6 10 8 15—39

PIERCE (1-1): Hailey Race 2-5 2-5 6; Ellexis Dunn 2-4 1-2 6; Kayla Simmons 1-2 0-0 2; Sidney Zimmerer 3-6 5-6 12; Brenna Collison 1-3 0-1 2; Zoe Brenden 0-1 0-0 0; Carly Sutherland 5-14 4-10 15; Maggie Brahmer 1-5 0-0 2. Totals 15-40 12-24 45.

NORFOLK CATHOLIC (0-3): Hailey Lammers 1-3 2-4 4; MacKenna Kalin 1-5 2-2 4; Chelsey Reifert 0-5 1-2 1; Jordan Peitz 1-3 2-3 4; Taylor Gilsdorf 1-7 0-0 3; Alex Anderson 3-16 5-7 11; Drue Pieper 1-4 2-4 4; Molly Knake 3-5 2-2 8; Maggie Berryman 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 11-49, 16-24 39.

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