MABEN – One technical foul shot was the difference Saturday night as the East Oktibbeha girl's basketball team beat rival West Oktibbeha.
With 23 seconds remaining West's Victoria Hudson called a timeout, but the Lady Timberwolves were out of timeouts. The Lady Titans made one free throw from the technical foul to win 52-51.
"I was told I had one timeout left and so I thought we were good," Lady Timberwolves head coach Marcus Johnson said.
The Lady Titans only held six leads the entire ball game but led it when it mattered. East Oktibbeha head coach Pam Roberts was glad her team never gave up and fought back.
"Tough game tonight," Roberts said. "We really had to work hard. We started in a hole and we had to dig our way out. Real proud of the girls how they fought back and stayed composed and they listened to all the instructions and we managed to get back into the game and finally beat them. We were glad to get the win."
The Lady Timberwolves failed to foul as the seconds ticked off in the fourth quarter and the Lady Titans ran out the clock. The gym noise may have played a factor.
"I was screaming foul from the sideline," Johnson said. "It was so noisy (that) they couldn't hear me."
Roberts had her squad prepared for what came after the free throw, and was confident her team could hold on. She was not surprised that West Oktibbeha did not try to foul.
"No I wasn't, I really wasn't," Roberts said. "I was thinking that they might have and I had my girls prepared for that. I told them to hold the ball. If we get any free throws on the technical foul shots, we wanted to hold the ball on the inbounds."
"We couldn't build on it," Johnson said. "It was a good tight game. Two rivals, what do you expect?"
The two teams entered the fourth quarter tied at 35, which energized the crowd.
There were four ties and five lead changes in the final period. Both coaches noticed how intense the final frame was.
"It was emotional and very intense to say the least," Roberts said. "I think our girls have stepped up and they are becoming team players. And that's the biggest part that they are learning how to work together on the floor and that's making a turn around for us."
Johnson knew there would be no margin for error.
"It got very good," Johnson said. "I told them in the timeout who ever had the least turnovers was going to win the game and they had the less turnovers and they won the game."
The Lady Titans were lead by Quanisha Doss who scored 18 points. Alexis Henderson added 15 and Lydia Stevenson chipped in seven. East Oktibbeha improved its record to 6-6 for the year.
West Oktibbeha was lead by Jaslyne Bedford who scored 23 points and pulled down 12 rebounds. Hudson added 12. The Lady Timberwolves fell to 5-4 for the year.
West Oktibbeha 66
East Oktibbeha 64
MABEN – The Timberwolves overcame a good first half by the Titans to beat cross-county rival in the final game of their holiday tournament.
East Oktibbeha came out on fire and opened the game on a 10-1 run. They were able to sustain that lead all the way to halftime and went into the break up 33-26.
The Timberwolves answered in the second half with a 12-3 run to open up play and take the lead. The two teams traded baskets for the rest of the third quarter, but West Oktibbeha took a 48-46 lead into the final frame.
The Titans were ahead late in the game but could not close the door and turned the ball over giving the Timberwolves an opportunity. West Oktibbeha capitalized and with an old-fashioned 3-point play to end the game.
Everett Jones lead the Timberwolves with 20 and Kendrin Yates chipped in 18. Davontae Lucious lead East Oktibbeha and all scorers with 26.