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Lady Raiders prevail in overtime

Tuesday night the Lady Raiders held off a determined Middlesboro squad that fought back from a 10-point deficit to force extra play in a 60-57 overtime win. It also avenged a loss to the Lady Jackets from earlier this season.

Led by Senior Kaylee Cotton’s 38 points, McCreary held the lead through most of the game. But turnovers and foul trouble allowed the Lady Jackets to close the gap and tie the contest when Middlesboro’s Erica Gambrell put back her own rebound on a missed shot with 4.2 seconds left in fourth quarter.

At the end of regulation a potential game-winning buzzer-beater by Cotton fell just short, sending the game into extra time.

McCreary started aggressively; then seemed to pull back once they established a lead.

Coach Todd Waters said he wasn’t happy how his team responded with the lead.

“We came out and played the way we wanted to,” Waters said. “But once we got that lead we thought they were going to quit, so we quit, and they got back in the game.“

“We are lucky we didn’t get beat. Our effort wasn’t there tonight. If it wasn’t for Brooke Stephens running all over the place on defense, we would have really struggled.”

“We were too passive on offense,” he added. “We were not attacking the basket the way we should have been doing.”

“Overall, I was disappointed with some of the effort we gave in the middle of the game but we hung around and fought back and got the win so I’m proud of them for that.”

McCreary held a 7-point lead at the end of the third quarter, but couldn’t keep control of the ball and the Lady Jackets continued to close in.

The Lady Raiders committed 14 turnovers in the game, most in the second half. The one area where they outperformed the Lady Jackets was in rebounding, with McCreary grabbing 32 to Middlesboro’s 25. Brooke Sluder finished with 12 rebounds, 10 on the defensive end.

In overtime the two squads traded turnovers to open the period before McCreary gained possession and went in to a stall to eat time off the game clock. The tactic failed as a Lady Raider turnover gave the Lady Jackets the ball with less than 2 minutes left.

Middlesboro failed to score on the drive and McCreary brought the ball back up the court.

Brooke Sluder hit the go-ahead basket with 1:12 left, giving McCreary a 57-55 lead.

Middlesboro drew a foul on the next series, but missed both free throws with the Lady Raiders pulling down the rebound.

Cotton would put McCreary up by 4 with a basket with 37 seconds left. The Lady Jackets sealed their fate with a turnover on the following inbounds play, fouling Ally Anderson in the process.

Anderson hit one of two free throws with 19 seconds left for a 60-55 lead.

The Lady Jackets would score on their final drive down the floor with 2.3 seconds on the clock, but could not force a turnover on the inbound play, giving McCreary the win.

Scoring:

K. Cotton -38, A. Anderson -7, Brooke Stephens -6, Lauren Phillips -5, Sluder -3, Macey Welchel -1.

The victory was the Lady Raiders’ second in a row, following a 67-65 win over Lexington Christian on Saturday.

Trailing by 7 at the half, McCreary shot 70 percent (12-17) from the floor in the second half to pull past the Lady Eagles.

Scoring:

K. Cotton -33, A. Anderson -19, B. Stephens -9, B. Sluder -4, L. Phillips -2.

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