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.
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.