HALLS—It appeared the Lady Cougars were heading to overtime on Monday night against District 3-AAA foe Halls.
After trailing 28-22 at the half after a sluggish second quarter, Campbell County clawed its way back into the lead with 1:34 left in the third, 34-32.
However, with 5.9 seconds remaining and a 42-all game, it appeared as if overtime was inevitable.
The Lady Red Devils — and the officials — had different plans.
Daniele Beeler fed the ball into the paint to Katelyn Cantrell. As the buzzer sounded, Cantrell’s shot clanked off the rim.
Both teams turned toward their benches, but the official came storming from below the basket, fist in the air.
“You know, I thought we had a bang-bang play there,” Campbell County head coach Ryan Browning said. “My biggest thing was to see if the ref could ask the two other refs to make sure. If you ask, and they say, ‘Yes, before the buzzer,’ then, I’m fine with it. At least have enough courage to ask.”
However, no conference took place, and Cantrell stepped to the line with no time remaining on the clock.
Her first shot rang from the front of the rim, but her second scooted over the front edge, clipping the back of the rim and falling in for a 43-42 District 3-AAA win over the Lady Cougars.
The loss is Campbell County’s sixth in a row, after the team put together a seven-game win streak in December.
However, Browning said it was turnovers in a key part of the game that really hurt.
“The last minute and a half, we had some crucial turnovers,” he said. “I don’t know if we shot the ball the last minute and a half. That comes down to bite you, of course. The girls fought and scrapped hard. We had a good start to the game. We slacked off a little bit that second quarter, but we fought and scratched to do what we could to get back in the game. You’d like to have a chance to settle it in overtime. It didn’t happen that way.”
The second quarter was the hardest.
After the Lady Cougars took their largest lead of the game, 19-15, with 6:40 remaining in the half, the team went cold.
Halls took a 13-0 run, before a trey by Olivia Brown with only 29 seconds remaining in the half broke the silence.
“We had some looks, but to me, they just weren’t confident looks,” Browning said. “We rushed a couple shots, and Halls did a good job on the perimeter of cutting off some things. I thought we had some looks that just didn’t go down, and we tried to speed it up some. It worked defensively, but that second quarter hurt.”
Another hurt came at the charity stripe.
Campbell County only mustered 7-of-14 at the free-throw line throughout the night.
According to Browning, confidence has a little to do with it.
“There was just another stretch there,” he said. “All of them were shooting fouls, so no one-and-ones. It’s just one of those things. We don’t have that one person going to the line 12 or 15 times. It’s a lot of mixing, and sometimes, you need that second time to get that confidence going. It’s just not happening right now. We’re mixing it up a lot. We’re leaving too many games there at the free throw line.”
Hannah Owens finished the game with 13 points, five rebounds and two blocks. Chelsea Finkenbine added nine points, while Amber Guy finished with eight. Brown had five, Jamie Mynatt four, Kendra King two and Megan Caudill one.
For Halls, Taylor Moon led the charge with 13 points.