Note: This story was last updated at 7:08 p.m.
KNOXVILLE—The Lady Wildcats took a one-point lead on a three-point shot by Princess Bates with nine seconds left, but Powell rallied in overtime to beat Oak Ridge 60-54 in a district tournament semifinal game in Knoxville on Saturday.
The Lady Wildcats, who have qualified for the Region 2 tournament, will play for third place in a consolation game against the loser of the Saturday afternoon game between Anderson County and Halls. The consolation game starts at 6 p.m. Monday at Central High School in Knoxville.
The Lady Wildcats led 27-22 at halftime and stayed on top for much of the second half, leading by as much as seven points. They got big momentum boosts from the three three-point shots of sophomore point guard/wing Courtney Ellison, who led Oak Ridge with 17 points, and three more from freshman wing/post Jasmine Hembry, who scored 12.
Bates, a freshman wing, and Caelyn Thompson, a junior post, each had seven.
Oak Ridge hit a total of eight three-point shots, for 24 points total.
“You hate it for them,” Oak Ridge Coach David Scott said of his team’s loss in the high-pressure game, undecided until the final seconds of the four-minute overtime. “They worked so hard.”
Oak Ridge (19-11) had picked up two of its three district losses this year to Powell (17-8).
Turnovers hurt both teams in this semifinal game of the District 3-AAA tournament at Central on Saturday. Scott said the turnover ratio was “a lot to not enough.” He said the Oak Ridge turnovers led to some easy baskets for Powell.
Both teams also got into foul trouble.
Freshman post Mykia Dowdell, who has more than 400 points this season but was unable to score Saturday, fouled out at 3:02 in the the fourth quarter. And freshmen Jaymi Golden and Amara Howard also fouled out.
Meanwhile, four Lady Panthers played with four fouls, Coach Christin Webb said.
She praised her team, which trailed for much of the second half, for persevering.
“My girls never gave up,” Webb said. “We’ve talked about that all season.”
Once her team settled down and “played smart,” they were able to apply pressure and force turnovers, Webb said.
Top scorers for Powell were senior Tori Lentz with 17 and freshman Haley Schubert with 16. Schubert sealed the win for the Lady Panthers with two free throws with about 1.4 seconds remaining in overtime.
Powell will play in the championship game at 6 p.m. Tuesday against the winner of the Saturday afternoon game between the Lady Mavericks and Lady Red Devils.
Scott said the Lady Wildcats need to score more and improve their rebounding. Although the girls had defensive stops Saturday, they have to get the rebound and finish the play, he said.
He gave credit to Ellison and Golden for their play Saturday and to Hembry for hitting shots, and said freshman wing/post Destiny Kassner did a good job filling in.
The team practice tomorrow (Sunday, February 15) will be a character test, Scott said.
The district tournament continues Saturday (February 14) after the Lady Mavericks-Lady Red Devils game with a matchup between Halls and Karns in a boys semifinal game.
Then, the Oak Ridge boys will take on Central at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in another semifinal game. The winners of the Oak Ridge-Central and Halls-Karns games will play for the championship at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Central.
More information will be added as it becomes available.