McDERMOTT – Regulation time, 32 minutes, just simply wasn’t enough time for the Northwest Lady Mohawks and Valley Lady Indians, Thursday night. In a showing of heart and will, both teams were unable to get a leg up on their foe, as the game was sent into overtime tied at 45-45.
Games don’t get much closer than the one between the Lady Mohawks and Lady Indians. Neither team was able to pull away from the other, and never had a lead greater than seven points.
At the end of the third quarter, Valley led Northwest by four points, 36-32. The Lady Mohawks would go on a 6-2 run to tie the game, 38-38 after Alexus Lisath hit a shot with just over five minutes left in regulation.
The Lady Indians eventually pulled out to a five point lead, 45-40, with only a couple minutes left in the game. From there, the game would continue to get tighter until the end of regulation.
Josee Osburn brought Northwest to within three points of Valley, 45-42, with only 1:22 remaining.
Only a few seconds later, with 1:02 left on the clock, Hannah Breech received the ball off a pass with no defender within reach. Breech put up a shot from the perimeter, and hit nothing but the bottom of the net, tying the game 45-45.
Neither team could put another point on the board, and the game was sent into overtime.
The first few minutes of overtime saw both teams turn the ball over. The Lady Indians then got a long possession in which Valley had six missed shots, but continuously prevented the Lady Mohawks from getting a rebound.
Kacie Hickerson would break the tie in overtime with a three pointer to give the Lady Indians a 48-45 lead.
Valley would never lose the lead from there, as time ran out on the Lady Mohawks. After the final buzzer, Valley beat Northwest 50-47.
“I think the thing we’re going to take away from this is even when we made some mistakes, we didn’t quit, and we fought back and came through it,” Valley coach Mark Merritt said. “We had some mental mistakes, that’s what we kept talking about.”
Some of those mistakes were allowing Northwest several open shots, and not getting to the shooter quick enough.
“We just needed to clean up some mental mistakes,” Merritt said. “We’ll work on that Saturday morning.”
Northwest coach Krista Crabtree knew the game against Valley would be a struggle. The two teams met in a summer scrimmage.
“I feel like our team has improved tremendously,” Crabtree said. “It was a tough loss, but Valley knew how to keep it together at the end.”
A few factors led to the Lady Mohawk loss Thursday night, according to Crabtree.
“We had a couple turnovers, and a stupid foul at the end,” Crabtree said. “It just kind of fell apart, but that’s what happens at the end (of the game) whenever there’s pressure.”
Crabtree said her team didn’t handle the pressure very well Thursday night, but hopes they will improve on that for the next close game.
If it weren’t for the Northwest comeback late in the game, there wouldn’t have even been an overtime period. Trailing by seven points, the Lady Mohawks fought back to even the score just before the end of regulation.
“To see them not quit, it makes me feel good,” Crabtree said. “We have had issues with that. They’re doing a lot better with that, not giving up, and trying to play the whole game without getting down on themselves, so I’m very proud of them for that.”
Northwest will travel to White Oak on Monday evening. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
The Lady Indians will play the Clay Lady Panthers on Monday evening in Lucasville. Tipoff will be at 6 p.m. There will not be a JV contest that night.
Northwest – Lisath 6-1-13, Osburn 4-2-11, Shae Patty 3-1-8, Breech 3-0-8, Hall 2-0-4, Swaval 1-1-3
Valley – Conley 6-3-15, Hickerson 4-0-10, Conaway 5-0-10, Howard 3-1-8, Duduit 1-2-5, Wright 1-0-2
3-point field goals – Northwest 4 (Breech 2, Osburn, Patty) Valley 4 (Hickerson 2, Duduit, Howard)
Reach Michael Hamilton at 740-353-3101, ext 1931 or on Twitter @MikeHamilton82.