Owens' free throws in overtime lift Lady Mustangs past Earle

Tuesday, February 24, 2015
BIC's Bailey Owens battles Earle's Alona Brown for a loose ball in first half action of Friday night's 2A-3 District Tournament semifinal matchup. Owens' two free throws in overtime lifted the Lady Mustangs to a thrilling 61-60 victory. (Town Crier photos/Trent Fletcher)

Buffalo Island Central senior Bailey Owens saved the Lady Mustangs season, sinking a pair of free throws with 1.6 seconds left in the overtime to lift BIC to a stunning 61-60 victory over Earle in the 2A-3 District Tournament Friday night at Lepanto.

The win sends BIC to this week's 2A Regional Tournament which will be played at the Mustang Athletic Complex in Monette.

The two teams battled to an 11-11 draw after the first period before BIC took control in the second quarter to take a 27-19 halftime lead. Three Lady Mustang treys fueled BIC's big second quarter run. Madison Greathouse hammered home back to back triples to begin the second stanza before Hannah Poe capped off the half with a three point bomb.

BIC Coach Justin Yates and members of the Lady Mustang basketball team celebrate just moments after Bailey Owens sank two free throws in overtime to lift BIC past Earle in the 2A-3 District Tournament quarterfinals. The win earned the Lady Mustangs a berth in the regionals to be held this week in Monette.

Earle battled back in the third quarter and closed the deficit to 38-35 entering the final frame. Alona Brown pitched in a pair of buckets to begin the third period before LaDeryca Childs closed the quarter strong, scoring eight points, which included a pair of three pointers to spark the Lady Bulldog comeback surge.

Brown began the fourth quarter with a long trey to tie things at 38-38. Back to back buckets by Childs and LaJericha Toombs put Earle on top 42-38 with 6:34 left in regulation. BIC fought back, getting a three point play from Greathouse, and eventually took the lead, 47-45, on a pair of Poe free throws with 3:28 to go. Janae Bowers' free throw pulled Earle to within a point with 55 seconds remaining, but Poe responded with a pair of free throws of her own, giving BIC a 49-46 edge with 43 ticks left on the clock.

Brown answered once again for Earle, knocking down a long three to tie the game 49-all at the 36 second mark. Two free throws by Owens, followed by a Brown basket, left the two foes knotted at 51-51 with just five seconds showing on the clock.

BIC, needing to go the length of the court for the game winning score, got a huge break when Earle was whistled for a foul with four seconds left. Poe calmly sank both ends of the double bonus, giving BIC what appeared to be a 53-51 victory. But after an Earle timeout, Brown took a pass at midcourt and streaked toward the basket, pitching in a running floater from inside the lane which dropped through the net as the horn sounded, sending the game into overtime.

Earle jumped in front to begin the extra period when Brown scored five consecutive points, including another triple, giving the Lady Bulldogs a 58-55 lead. Earle still led 60-57 at the 23 second mark, until Poe dropped in a pair of charity tosses with 18 seconds left to close the gap to 60-59.

The Lady Mustangs immediately fouled, sending Toombs to the line for the double bonus. The Lady Bulldog guard missed both ends of the double bonus, giving BIC one last shot at victory. With 2.6 seconds remaining on the clock, Megan Webster drove for the basket and was fouled. The senior guard misfired on both free throw attempts, but Owens snared the second miss and attempted to get off one last shot which Brown thought she had clearly blocked. But the Earle guard was whistled for her fifth foul, sending Owens to the line where she knocked down the game winners.

"Today we had some seniors really step up," said BIC Coach Justin Yates. "We knocked down some big free throws. We had some kids that didn't know the definition of the word quit. I had full confidence that Bailey would knock the free throws down and she did. I am really excited for this bunch."

Poe paced the Lady Mustangs with 25 points while Greathouse also hit double digits with 16. Owens and Karoline Thomas chipped in nine points apiece while Blaire Wildy added two. BIC hit a blistering 24-29 free throw attempts and drilled seven three pointers on the night.

Brown topped all scorers with a game high 29 points. Childs added 12. Earle connected on 9-19 foul shots and hit four three pointers.

The state's top ranked 2A team, Marmaduke, improved to 33-2 on the season with a 78-56 victory over BIC Saturday night in the tournament's semifinals.

The Lady Greyhounds peppered the nets, knocking down 12 three pointers in the first half alone, and coasted to a 22 point win. Allison Hampton led Marmaduke with 17 points, nine assists and eight steals. Sidnee Bopp scored 16, Madison Price had 15, Cally Burgess netted 10 while Kelsey McCoy chipped in nine points and 10 rebounds.

Owens led BIC with 18, Thomas scored 14 while Poe added 12.

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