Melbourne shocks Lady Lions in overtime, squeeze past manila 60-58 in Regional semifinals
Manila entered Friday night's regional semifinals against Melbourne with a state tournament bid already safely tucked away. The Lady Lions were in search of their fourth straight tournament title this season, and looked to be well on their way to reaching the finals, building up a 15 point third period lead. But the Lady Bearkatz stormed from behind, sending the game into overtime, where Melbourne's Shelbie Byram sank an eight foot floater with 26 seconds left, lifting the Bearkatz to a shocking 60-58 victory over the Lady Lions.
Both teams opened the game red hot from the field, banging home three treys apiece in the first quarter. Emily Cook sank a pair of three pointers while Kirsten Adcock added another for Manila. Melbourne countered with three point bombs from Bryam, Kennedy Cooper and Ashton Ford. When the smoke cleared, the Lady Lions held a slim 19-18 edge after the first stanza.
Manila began to take control in the second quarter, outscoring Melbourne 9-3 to grab a 28-21 lead at intermission. The Lady Lions threatened to blow the game open in the third period behind the long range shooting of senior forward Deven Burrow. Burrow buried three treys while Cook added another, helping the Lady Lions build a 46-31 lead with 56 seconds left in the third quarter. Burrow's third trey would prove to be Manila's final field goal of the game. Lindsey Wetzel closed the period with a three pointer for Melbourne to slice the Manila lead to 12 points entering the final frame.
The Lady Bearkatz continued to fight back, cutting the Manila lead to 46-41 on consecutive treys from Ford and Byram with 3:34 left in regulation. Kailen Shelton delivered Manila's first two points of the period with a pair of free throws to push the Lady Lion lead to 48-41 at the 3:10 mark. But Manila's Adcock, who sat out much of the game due to foul trouble, picked up her fifth foul seconds later. The two teams traded baskets before Melbourne went on a 6-0 run to cut the lead to 50-49 with 47 seconds to go.
Taylor Teague and Shelton each sank one of two free throw attempts to give Manila a 52-49 advantage with 22 seconds left in the game. But Byram, who would throw in the game winner in overtime, dropped in a three pointer from beyond the left elbow to tie the game with eight seconds left. Teague's running one-hander just before the buzzer looked to be good, but rimmed out, sending the game into overtime.
Cooper began the extra period with a pair of free throws to give Melbourne a two point lead before fouling out at the 2:54 mark. Cook tied the game with two foul shots of her own. Byram canned another three pointer, the 10th of the night for the Lady Bearkatz, giving Melbourne a three point edge with 2:15 left in overtime. Cook again went to the foul line, sinking two more free throws to pull Manila to within one. Sydney Smith dropped in one of two charity tosses to increase Melbourne's lead to 58-56. The Lady Lions tied things up on a pair of Shelton foul shots with 1:03 left, setting up Byram's eventual game winner. Manila had a couple of opportunities to send the game into a second overtime, but failed to get a shot off before the final horn sounded.
"We missed a couple of free throws in the fourth quarter and we just let the game get away from us," said Lady Lion Coach Mark Manchester. "We just didn't finish the game off. But you have to give Melbourne credit. They made shot after shot when they needed them."
Cook led three Lady Lions in double figures, scoring 17 points, while Burrow and Adcock added 16 and 11 points respectively. Shelton scored nine while Teague finished with five. The Lady Lions hit 17-23 free throws and nailed seven three pointers on the night.
Cooper scored a game high 21 points to lead the Lady Bearkatz. Byram was next with 16 points while Ford chipped in 14.
Manila dropped the third place game to Valley Springs, 56-54, Saturday afternoon. Valley Springs led 17-12 after the first quarter before Manila rallied to take a 29-28 halftime edge. The Lady Tigers outscored Manila 20-9 in the third period to take a 48-38 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Burrow led Manila with 17 points while pulling down six rebounds. Adcock had 14 points, seven rebounds and five blocks while Cook added 14 points. Shelton scored six points and grabbed five boards while Teague chipped in three points while dishing out nine assists.
Payton Tennison led Valley Springs with 23 points while Emmalee Taylor pitched in 20 more.
Manila will begin state tournament play Wednesday afternoon at Charleston. The Lady Lions will take on Paris, the number one seed from Region 1. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m.