Houston junior Abby Henry knocks the ball away from Cabool freshman Megan Gayer during the second quarter of the JV Lady Tigers' overtime win Thursday night in Cabool.

After trailing by 6 points going into the fourth quarter, the Houston High School junior varsity basketball team staged a late rally and pulled off a 40-37 victory in overtime Thursday night at Cabool.

The game got off to a slow start, as Houston led 4-2 after a sloppy first quarter. Turnovers were plentiful and referees’ whistles sounded early and often in the period, as the Lady Tigers committed 7 fouls and the host Lady Bulldogs committed 8.

Both teams found a better offensive rhythm in the second quarter, and Cabool went into the break with a 16-13 advantage. The Lady Bulldogs were up 25-19 after 3 quarters, but Houston mounted a comeback during the final 4 minutes of the contest.

When freshman guard Olivia Crites sank a driving layup with 2:30 left, the Lady Tigers were within a point at 30-29. Then after freshman forward MacKenzie Bryan grabbed an offensive rebound on a missed free throw and converted a put-back shot with 10 seconds to go, regulation time expired with the score tied at 36-all.

With the crowd going wild that had gathered for the upcoming varsity game, sophomore forward Sarah Purcell snatched a crucial offensive board and scored from the lane in traffic to put Houston ahead 38-36 midway through the 3-minute extra session.

HHS freshman forward Rhease Manier pulls down a rebound during the second quarter of the JV Lady Tigers’ overtime win at Cabool.

Then on the following inbounds play, the Lady Tigers’ full-court pressure left nobody open and Cabool was whistled for a 5-second violation to give Houston possession.

With only 4 seconds remaining and the Lady Tigers ahead by a point, Bryan once again yanked down an offensive rebound and converted a put-back shot to secure the victory.

Houston’s balance scoring attack was led by Bryan’s 8 points, while Purcell and junior guard Abby Henry each had 7. Crites finished with 6 points, while sophomore Jordan Lay and freshman MaKenzie Arthur had 4 apiece. Freshmen Cassandra Hines and Rhease Manier rounded out the Lady Tigers’ scoring with 2 points each.

Houston got the win despite finishing the game with a whopping 20 fouls and sinking only 14-of-27 free throws.

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