Lady Govs ‘survive’ West in OT, 52-51
By Grant Ramey | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
When the last seconds ticked off the overtime clock Wednesday night at William Blount, Todd Wright’s Lady Govs had another district win. But they didn’t have the momentum.
Haley Talbott made one of two free throws with 11 seconds left in the extra frame, helping William Blount survive a furious Knox. West comeback with a 52-51 overtime win inside Marvin L. Boring Gymnasium.
“I told them we survived,” Wright told The Daily Times after the game. “I started my post-game with ‘A win is a win.’ It’s a district win, so we’ll take it.”
Talbott, along with Samantha Henry, led the Lady Govs (9-10, 3-2 District 4-AAA), scoring 12 points each. Amber Click, Shelby Spradlin and Kristin McGill had 6 each for WB.
Brianna Tate had 18 and Kennedy Blalark scored 13 to help West (2-9, 0-5) erase a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
Kyra Burris, who finished with 9 points in the game, hit a 3 with 5.5 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 46-each and sending the game to OT. The Lady Rebels missed two 3-point attempts on their final possession before Burris found the bottom of the net from the top of the key to keep the game alive.
William Blount outscored West 18-11 in the third quarter, building a 43-31 lead heading into the final eight minutes, but that’s when West came alive.
The Lady Govs managed just three points — two free throws from McGill and another from Talbott — in the fourth quarter.
“We’ve got to learn how to handle pressure and adversity,” Wright said. “It’s happened too many time this year where we’ve had a lead and we just don’t know how to act.”
Talbott hit three free throws in overtime, tying the game at 48-all with just over two minutes remaining before giving her team the go-ahead point with 11 seconds left.
A Henry field goal had tied the game at 51 before Talbott went to the line.
The lack of execution with a double-digit lead wasn’t from a lack of effort, Wright said.
“Instead of backing off, I think we continue to go too hard and make too many mistakes. But it’s a learning process.”
West 63, Govs 40
Injuries have slowed William Blount down the last couple weeks.
Knox. West did plenty to slow the Govs Wednesday night and extend WB’s losing skid, too.
Nigel Bethel had a game-high 20 points for the visiting Rebels (6-6, 3-2), Lawrence Fishback scored 15 and Israel Okita had 14 in a runaway 63-40 win in District 4-AAA play.
Cody Mathis, just back from injury, led William Blount (6-12, 1-4) with 15 points. Austin Haworth had 8 points while Jaden Bailey and Taylor DeArmond added 7 each.
“I’m glad Cody Mathis is back, he played better,” WB coach Kevin Windle said. “But we had a starting center out with a hurt ankle, and that hurts us against West because of how athletic they are.”
WB’s injury list, which has grown by the game as of late, added David Kinlaw, who didn’t play against West.
“Seems like every game we’ve had an injury,” Windle said. “We just started having these nagging injuries, even guys playing with injuries that people don’t know of.
“Jaden Bailey, he’s injured right now, still playing. Haworth, he’s injured right now, still playing. (Brandon) Tipton’s injured, still playing. Mathis just got back from injury. Kinlaw’s back now.”
The injuries have been a big part in the Govs’ five-game losing streak, dating back to a 49-48 loss to McMinn County on Dec. 26.
“Just go down the line,” Windle said. “We have five or six guys that are beat up. But it will payoff. We’re getting some time with other guys.
“Proud of my guys effort. (We’ve) got to get a little better offensively and shoot the ball better.”