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WARSAW – The shots didn’t fall at the right time for the South Oldham Lady Dragons as they fell to Walton-Verona 47-44 in overtime Friday in the regional tourney semis.
SOHS, 22-6, held a lead late, but ran into some cold shooting in the game’s final minutes and in the overtime as eventual regional champ Walton-Verona converted on several key shots.
“It was just one of those nip-and-tuck games all the way through,” SOHS coach Frank Wright said. “It was a great game. Time just ran out on us.”
Trailing by four at 39-35 with 2:53 left, the Lady Dragons managed to tie the game on a follow shot and pair of free throws from Maddie Wright.
SOHS took its final lead at 41-39 with 1:15 left when Jasmine Whitfield hit a pair of free throws.
Whitfield came up with a steal on the ensuing possession, but gave it right back to Walton-Verona when Courtney Sandlin intercepted an entry pass with 39 seconds left.
Sandlin tied the game with 24 seconds left when she buried a jumper from the top of the key.
Whitfield’s long three-pointer rimmed out at the buzzer forcing the overtime.
“If there was one thing we didn’t do well it was manage the clock at the end of each quarter,” Wright said. “We have not been good at it all year even though we have worked on it and those things add up.”
SOHS had two early chances to take the lead in the overtime, but Whtifield’s drive in the lane came out and after Mary Dye blocked consecutive shots on the defensive end, Lissa Gamsky couldn’t connect on a shot from the foul line.
Walton-Verona took the lead for good at 44-41 with 1:47 left when Molly Clinkenbeard hit a three-pointer off the left wing.
After Whitfield missed a three, Walton-Verona went up 46-41 with 1:07 left on an opportunistic play when Dye blocked a shot by Kelly Dixon and Sandlin picked up the loose ball and laid it in.
Whitfield kept the Lady Dragons in it by hitting a long three off the right side to cut it to 46-44 with 47 seconds left.
After Walton-Verona’s Shelby Mullikin missed the front end of a bonus, SOHS failed to convert when an entry pass was deflected to the hands of Walton-Verona’s Kara Taulbee.
Taulbee hit one of two from the line with 14 seconds left. SOHS had a chance to cut the lead to one, but Whitfield missed two free throws. Walton-Verona returned the favor by missing two free throws and a last chance shot from Whitfield off the right side at the buzzer banged around and out.
“I thought we played well enough and hard enough to win, things just didn’t fall our way,” Wright said. “Our effort was great, as a coach I couldn’t ask for any more out of them.”
WALTON-VERONA - 7 12 12 10 6 47 - Clinkenbeard 3, Mullikin 2, Hoffa 2, Ginn 2, Taulbee 6, Dixon 6, Judy 8, Sandlin 18; 47.
SOHS - 9 8 14 10 3 44 - Mary Dye 9, Lissa Gamsky 5, Maddie Wright 6, Emily Housley 3, Jasmine Whitfield 21; 44.
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