On the night the seniors were recognized, one of them came up with arguably the biggest shot of the game.
With the host Lady Vandals clinging to a four-point lead, visiting Roxana appeared to have all of the momentum.
But Vandalia senior forward Elizabeth Miller caught a pass, took a dribble and scored in the lane to make it a six-point game with time running out.
The hoop proved key as the Vandalia Lady Vandals knocked off Roxana, 55-46, on Thursday night.
It was Miller's only hoop of the game, but it was a big one.
"Elizabeth Miller stepped up and hit a huge shot for us," Vandalia Coach Michelle McNary said. "That gave us some more breathing room at the end."
Vandalia improved to 15-11 on the season with the victory.
Four seniors were honored before the game — Miller, Haley Cannon, Kelsey Swain and Ashely Swain. All four started the game. McNary said all four have been valuable members of the team.
"They're a great group of girls, and they've been a big part of our program," McNary said.
It was Seniors Night, but a sophomore shined brightest for the Lady Vandals, as Emma Meyer scored a game-high 22 points and also had six steals. Meyer came off the bench and pumped in 10 points in the first period as the Lady Vandals overcame an early deficit.
"I thought Emma had one of her better games," McNary said. "She didn't force things, and she took good shots."
Junior forward Makayla Tinker scored 15 points and junior guard Madelyn Hosick scored eight points while running the show.
"Makayla played better tonight," McNary said. "She had kind of been struggling a little bit the last couple of games. And we know we're always going to get something good from Maddie (Hosick)."
The Lady Vandals took Roxana's best punch early in the game, but responded back, leading for most of the game.
"I thought once we settled down, we did a nice job," McNary said. "I thought this was one of our better games. Hopefully we'll keep going forward from here."
Roxana knocked down three early three-pointers for a 9-0 lead. But Meyer came in and was aggressive offensively, scoring at will. Vandalia went on a 14-1 run, with Tinker and Kelsey Swain also contributing hoops during the spurt. Those points gave the Vandals a 14-10 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The hosts got four points from Hosick during a key second period stretch. The Shells scored five straight, but a hoop from Tinker gave the Vandals a 27-21 halftime advantage.
The Lady Vandals pulled away early in the third period with a 6-0 run. Roxana wouldn't go away, though. The Shells stayed within striking distance, as Vandalia was up, 40-33, entering the fourth quarter.
Meyer's old-fashioned three-point play gave the Vandals a 43-33 lead early in the final frame, but again, Roxana just kept hanging around.
Roxana scored four-straight, cutting Vandalia's lead 47-43.
That's when Miller got free for key basket in the paint, pushing the VCHS lead to 49-43 with just over two minutes to play. Roxana missed a couple of three's on their next possession, and after a Shells turnover, Meyer scored the other way, making it 51-43.
Roxana got a free throw and a putback, but time was running out. The Shells had to foul, and late free throws from Hosick and Tinker sealed the win for the Vandals.
Maddy Sheraka scored 15 points for the Shells.
Notes: A large student section made its presence known at the game, with many of the boys painting themselves red.
"The kids were awesome tonight," McNary said. "I wish they did that every night. It was fun watching them from the sidelines."
The Vandalia JV girls beat Roxana, 37-27.
Lindsay Dagen scored 13 points for the Lady Vandals and Molly Kern scored eight.
It was the team's second straight win.
Vandalia 55, Roxana 46
RO 10 11 12 13 — 46
VA 14 13 13 15 — 55
Vandalia: Anna Miller 0 0-0 0, Leah Francis 1 2-4 4, Kelsey Swain 2 0-0 4, Haley Cannon 0 0-0 0, Elizabeth Miller 1 0-0 2, Emma Meyer 8 6-10 22, Madelyn Hosick 2 4-6 8, Makayla Tinker 6 3-4 15, Ashley Swain 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 (0) 15-24 55. Three-pointers: None. Fouls 14.
Roxana: E. Rexford 2 1-1 6, Sheet 4 6-7 14, H. Rexford 1 1-4 3, Sheraka 5 2-4 15, Kreutztrager 2 0-0 6, Palen 1 0-0 2. Totals 9 (6) 10-16 46. Three-pointers: Sheraka 3, Kruetztrager 2, E. Rexford. Fouls 17. Fouled out: H. Rexford.
Vandalia 37, Roxana 27
VA 5 11 13 8 — 37
RO 4 9 11 3 —27
Vandalia: Klanke 7, Dagen 13, Paslay 5, Kern 8, Ruot 4, Miller 0, Austin 0, Zimmerman 0, Marquardt 0, Wilkerson 0, Murphy 0. Totals 15 (1)4-7 37. Three-pointer: Klanke.
Roxana: McDonald 10, Edwards 2, Lucas 4, Palen 7, Antoine 3, Varza 1. Totals 9 (1) 6-15 27. Three-pointers: McDonald.