Lady Bombers need OT to defeat Lady Cardinals
Sometimes you just have to find a way to win. That is exactly what the Ballard Memorial Lady Bombers have managed to do in 2014 as they have won three of four games since the first of the year. Tuesday night, January 14th was another one of those games where the Lady Bombers did just enough to win. The Lady Bombers saw a double figure lead wilt away, but managed to comeback to send the game to overtime. They were able to pull out the 66-55 district victory over the Mayfield Lady Cardinals.
With the game tied at seven, Abbi Denton scored to give the Lady Bombers the two point lead. The Lady Bombers would stretch the lead as Denton found Ashleigh Tyson open for a bucket to give the host a 14-9 lead after the opening eight minutes of play.
The Lady Cardinals came out strong in the second quarter scoring the first seven points of the quarter to regain the 16-14 lead. Denton would get an offensive rebound put back to tie the game at 16 all. Mayfield would recapture the 19-18 advantage when Leah Shelley would convert a three point play to reclaim the Lady Bomber lead. She would get another bucket and Hailey Houston would get a couple of field goals to help the Lady Bombers take the 27-21 advantage into the locker room.
Houston, Shelley, and Denton would each get a basket to start the second half to provide the Lady Bombers with their biggest lead at 33-21. The Lady Cardinals would keep it close and outscored the Lady Bombers 11-4 to end the quarter as the Lady Bombers held the 37-32 lead heading into the final quarter.
The Lady Cardinals would trim the lead to one before Denton converted a three point play. Mayfield would cut the lead back two when Houston would get another bucket for the 42-38 Lady Bomber lead. The Lady Cardinals regained the lead at 43-42 and Houston would respond to give the Lady Bombers another one point lead. The Lady Cardinals looked to take control of the game as they scored the next six points to push the Mayfield lead to 49-44. With 1:28 remaining in the game, Denton hit a huge trey to cut the lead back to 49-47. Both teams went to the free throw line and Mayfield would push the lead to 52-48 with 40.2 seconds remaining. Denton drove the lane and kicked the ball out to the left wing to an open Shelby Rollings who calmly sank a three point shot with 30.5 seconds to cut the lead to 52-51. Mayfield was only able to hit one of two free throws with 19.5 seconds remaining. The Bombers got the ball and it was Denton time as she drove through and was able to tie the game up with 9.5 seconds remaining. The Lady Cardinals had a chance to win, but they missed a shot from under their own basket with just under two seconds remaining allowing the game to go to overtime.
Denton scored the first four points in overtime for the Lady Bomber 57-53 lead. The Lady Cardinals hit two free throws to cut the lead back to 57-55, but that would be the only points in the four minute overtime for Mayfield. Houston and Shelley would knock down a pair of free throws to push the lead back to 61-55. Kenzie Blackford hit one of two free throws to make it a three possession game and then Rollings and Denton would seal the win from the free throw line hitting a pair of free throws each for the 66-55 final. “I have no idea how we came back and won that game,” said Coach Kayla Vance adding, “It is frustrating, but they’ve got the grit and determination to win. I am proud of them persevering.” Hailey Houston added, “We executed our plays and we got it to our bigs and that is what really won us the game.”
Denton and Houston would pace the Lady Bombers with 22 and 18 points respectively. Shelley also scored in double figures with 14 with Rollings and Blackford both ended with five points and Tyson would finish with two. The Lady Bombers are 5-9 on the season and 1-1 in district play while the Lady Cardinals fall to 2-10 and 0-2 in district competition. Ballard Memorial will enter the All A Tournament on Tuesday night, January 21st as the number four seed as they play the number 5 seed Lady Comets of Carlisle County at 6:00 at Paducah Tilghman. Coach Vance said “I keep telling them we can’t just show up and just expect to win by just walking on the floor. We’ve got to focus one game at a time and we’re going to focus on Carlisle.” Houston added on what they need to improve on to make a run at the All A tournament saying, “Defense, Defense, Defense. We need to work harder on defense and blocking out and doing the small things.”