Carmichael's late free throw lifts Lady Mustangs past Manila 53-52
Jona Carmichael sank a free throw with 1.4 seconds remaining to lift Buffalo Island Central to a 53-52 victory over Manila in senior girls basketball action Thursday night at Lion Gymnasium.
Trailing by as many as eight points in the fourth quarter, the Lady Lions put on a furious rally in the closing minute to square the game at 52-all with just 8.8 seconds remaining. Sophomore Andi Baker came off the Lady Lion bench and buried a three pointer from beyond the top of the key to slice the BIC lead to 52-50. Lauren Woody stole the ensuing inbounds pass and laid the ball off the glass, tying the game and setting the stage for Carmichael's heroics.
BIC worked for the final shot but had the ball knocked out of bounds with 2.2 seconds showing on the clock. After a timeout, the Lady Mustangs inbounded to Carmichael, who was fouled, attempting a shot. The junior missed her first attempt, and Manila called timeout in hopes of freezing the Lady Mustang post player. But Carmichael spoiled Manila's strategy when she nailed her second attempt, giving the Lady Mustangs the victory.
"That was a real nail biter," said BIC Coach Justin Yates. "I think in 30 more seconds we would have given it to them. We are young and trying to get better, especially in close games. We told whoever had the ball on the last play to put up a shot in a hurry. Jona did a good job. She hasn't been in that situation before. She hit a real big free throw for us to give us a really nice win."
"We really battled and play hard tonight," said Manila Coach Sammi Fowler. "I couldn't have asked for a better effort. We were able to come back because of our press, and Andi Baker hit a big three pointer for us. Then we got the steal and tied the game. We were really hurt on the offensive boards as well as our inability to hit free throws. This one hurts, but I'm proud of the girls."
Manila bolted to a 19-7 lead after the opening quarter, but the Lady Mustangs stormed back in the second period to tie the game 21-21 at the half. BIC took a 32-31 edge into the fourth quarter.
Blaire Wildy led BIC with 15 points while Heather Sipes and Molly Hart added 14 and 12 points respectively. Holly Stockton scored six, Carmichael had four while Madison Nowlin chipped in two. BIC made 12-20 foul shots and drained five treys.
Hannah Teague drilled six three pointers and led the Lady Lions with 20 points. Taylor Harmon scored 17, Woody netted eight, Baker tallied three, Hannah McQueen pitched in two while Jordyn Wheeler and Courtney Scott contributed one point apiece. Manila converted 16-27 free throws and hit eight treys.
Manila began the week with a 43-33 loss Monday night against Kennett, Mo. Hadley Hilburn led Kennett with 14 points while Dakaya Duckworth added 11.
Teague topped the Lady Lions with 13 points. Woody scored six, Harmon, McQueen and Jordan Tyler chipped in four points apiece while Wheeler added two.
In junior girls action, BIC squeezed past Manila 30-28. Brianna Lambert popped five treys and finished with a game high 17 points to lead the Lady Mustangs. Vicky Esparza scored seven while Morgan James added six.
Meg Gifford led Manila with 11 points while Brailey Hampton had 10. Sydney Adcock scored four while AnnaBeth Baugher added three.
Manila took the junior high contest 40-37 over Kennett. Hampton led the Lady Lions with 22 points. Adcock had six, Gifford scored five, Baugher tallied three while Madison Bibbs and Hannah May chipped in two points apiece. Sydni McAtee led Kennett with 12 points.
The Lady Mustangs traveled to Lepanto Monday night and came home with a 63-52 loss at the hands of East Poinsett County.
Becca Bishop topped the Lady Warriors with 20 points, including a four for five performance from beyond the three point arc. Krystan Vornes added 19 while Bailey Constant tallied 10.
Molly Hart led BIC with 19 points while Blaire Wildy chipped in 15.
EPC also took the junior high game 38-27. Bre Ward paced the Lady Warriors with 24 points while Brianna Lambert led BIC with 10.
Manila returns to action Thursday night with a 3A-3 conference game at Corning. The Lady Lions will open play in the NEA Tournament Saturday afternoon against Trumann. Tipoff is set for 1:30 at the Convocation Center in Jonesboro.
The Lady Mustangs travel to Marked Tree Monday night to face the Lady Indians in a 2A-3 conference matchup. BIC will play in the Pangburn Classic Friday before opening NEA Tournament play Saturday against Rector. Tipoff is set for noon at the Convocation Center.