A bounce here or there, a rebound, a loose ball, a free throw…Mason County was that close to heading back to the 10th Region Championship.
But it wasn’t meant to be as the Lady Royals fell to Scott, 65-63 in double overtime, Friday night at The Fieldhouse in the 10th Region Semifinals.
After 32 minutes couldn’t decide it, four more couldn’t either before Scott finally sealed the deal in double overtime as AJ Reed’s 3-point attempt at the buzzer came up short.
“I thought we executed our gameplan very well, we had opportunities to win, just didn’t make a play here or there,” Lady Royals coach Brad Cox said. “But that’s is what it is in regional tournament basketball, they made one more play so the credit goes to them.”
The opportunities were there for the Lady Royals as they lead 52-48 with less than 70 seconds to play in regulation. An Emma Profitt layup followed by a Summer Secrist steal and basket tied things up at 52. Mason County had one last chance to win it in regulation with 7.1 seconds remaining, but Reed was tripped up as she drove the length of the floor and no call was made as the two teams scrambled for a loose ball as the buzzer sounded.
“It looked like she got tripped, but they didn’t call it and you just have to move on and play the next play. We can’t fault one play or non-call on the result of the game, it’s just a culmination of things,” Cox said.
In the first overtime, the Lady Royals trailed 56-55 when Victoria Brooks was fouled on a drive with 21.7 seconds remaining, heading to the line for two shots. She’d hit one-of-two to tie the game back up. Anna Clephane had a shot to win it, but her leaner hit off the back of the rim and out to send the game to a second overtime.
Clephane would redeem herself as she started off with a 3-pointer, but the Lady Royals answered with five straight points on a Kara Moran layup followed by a Haley White 3-pointer to give them a 61-59 lead. Scott answered immediately as Profitt hit a mid-range that was followed by a Clephane steal and layup to give the Lady Eagles the lead back at 63-61.
Brooks would come down on a drive and was fouled, knocking down both free throws this time to tie things back up at 63 with 55 seconds remaining. Clephane was then fouled on a drive and knocked down one-of-two free throw attempts to give Scott a 64-63 lead.
The Lady Royals then used a timeout with 23 seconds left and drew up a play for Haley White, the same play that White hit a game-winner against St. Henry earlier in the season, but her attempt came up short and Clephane corralled a rebound and was fouled with 5.9 seconds left.
“We ran the same play as we did against St. Henry. Haley White had hit a couple of jumpshots, we knew they were probably going to shadow AJ and Kara on ball side, so it left her open, she got a good look, it just didn’t fall. We executed, sometimes you make the shot, sometimes you don’t,” Cox said.
She’d then split the attempts, misfiring on the second one. Moran hit Reed on the run and was turned twice as she drove up the floor, putting up a heave that came up short just as she passed the half court line. The buzzer sounded and the Lady Royals season ends with an overtime loss in the regional tournament for the second straight year.
Throughout the first half, the Lady Royals held the lead until late in the first half when Scott went on a 6-0 run to take a 28-25 edge before a Reed triple before the buzzer made it 28-all at the break.
After the two went back and forth in the third, the Lady Eagles closed the quarter with four straight points to take a 42-39 lead into the fourth.
They’d stretch the lead to 48-43 before the Lady Royals went on a 9-0 run to take a 52-48 lead with 1:39 left capped off by two Moran free throws. But it wasn’t their night as they were held scoreless the rest of regulation while Profitt’s and Secrist’s layup tied things up to get the game to overtime.
Second chance points and free throw woes plagued the Lady Royals throughout the contest as they gave up 14 second chance points and went 16-of-28 from the free throw line.
“Free throws, you can’t control that. We shoot them every day in practice, that’s tough. The second chance points, maybe if we could have made one rebound or one stop to maybe swing the momentum and maybe make the last stop we needed to make and they got that rebound. That happened a handful of times and that was tough to come back from,” Cox said.
Brooks led four Lady Royals in double figures with 21 points, Reed adding 17, Moran 12 and White tossing in 11. The loss ended the Lady Royals season at 19-12.
“When times got tough we just kept working. That’s a credit to our seniors who came in and worked hard every day and had a good attitude for the most part. They wanted to keep the expectations of our program going, just because we graduate some people doesn’t mean we’re going to completely start from scratch. I feel like we have good people in our program, I hate it for our seniors this year, but we’ll look to continue to be food in the next few years as well,” Cox said.
They’ll look to replace four seniors, starting with Reed and Moran to go with Haley May and Jaclyn Poe.
“Those four are going to be very successful in life. They never threw in the towel, whether this year or year’s in the past. They just kept working and were productive members of our team and are going to be productive members of society because they are good kids,” Cox said.
Scott moves on to Saturday’s championship against George Rogers Clark as they look to find their legs. Saturday’s game time is set for 7 p.m. Secrist led the Lady Eagles with 23 points, Clephane had 18 while Sofia Allen provided a lot of second chance opportunities on the evening, chipping in 14 points to go with seven rebounds, five of them offensive.
The win improved Scott to 19-14. They faced the Lady Cardinals back on February 2 in Winchester, the Lady Cards prevailing 59-48.
GEORGE ROGERS CLARK 51, CAMPBELL COUNTY 48
Down goes the tournament favorite.
With a zone that flustered Campbell County all evening, George Rogers Clark took advantage early on building a double-digit lead and eventually hung on for a 51-48 victory, Friday night at The Fieldhouse to advance to the 10th Region Championship game Saturday night against Scott.
The Lady Camels entered the tournament as the heavy favorite, going 28-3 during the regular season and knocking off Bracken County in the first round. Didn’t matter to the defending regional champs.
"We just battled and played hard. Blocked out all the noise," Lady Cards coach Robbie Graham said. "I know everybody was picking Campbell, all the experts. The game is played on the floor. We're the defending champ. Don't just walk away from that. Make somebody knock you off to get there and make them work to do it. I thought we battled for 32 minutes and just played our tails off."
The Lady Cards shot out to a 9-0 lead and led 13-2 before Campbell hit their first shot from the field on a Lexie Stapleton 3-pointer with 38 seconds left in the first. GRC would take a 13-5 lead into the second.
It looked as if the Lady Camels finally found their rhythm in the second quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers from Taylor Clos, but they’d go nearly four minutes without a point as the Lady Cards stretched the lead to 28-15 by halftime.
As expected, Campbell would make their run and it came on the shoulders of Clos as she scored 13 of the Lady Camels’ 18 points in the third to get them within 35-33 after three quarters of play.
"We knew they were going make a run, all good teams do," Graham said. "You don't get to 29-3 without being able to make runs. We just wanted to maintain, keep our poise and composure. They make a run, we got to make a play. We had to get a stop on D or a basket on the other end and we were scrapping, ball's loose, diving on the floor both teams. What a game."
Campbell eventually tied it up in the fourth at 38-all on a Mackenzie Schwarber 3-pointer, but GRC kept staving off each rally, eventually building the lead back up to 48-43 with under 90 seconds left. Stapleton responded quickly with a three and Behanan would hit 1-of-2 free throws to make it 49-46 with 23 seconds left.
As Campbell came down, they turned to the 10th Region Player of the Year in Clos, getting fouled on a free throw attempt. She’d hit 2-of-3 free throws with 5.8 seconds left to make it 49-48.
The Lady Camels then fouled Kennedy Igo with 3.6 seconds left, as she’d knock down two free throws. Campbell’s last shot came from Clos, but her highly contested 3-pointer hit off the backboard, never drawing iron, sending the tournament favorite home.
George Rogers Clark and Scott tip it up for a right to BB&T Arena at 7 p.m., Saturday, at The Fieldhouse.
"Our goal is to win the region. Not just to get there and play in the championship game. We've got some veteran players that have been there and we've been in this spot before. We're celebrating a little bit here, but we'll get focused and prepare for whoever is going to win," Graham said.