The Saint Mary’s Lady Tiger basketball team began their season this week at home hosting Cedar Creek on Monday and Calvary Baptist on Thursday. Coach Collins and his squad were looking to get things going with a victory and carry their preseason experience into district play later this year.
The Monday night action was indeed exciting and went down to the wire and eventually overtime to determine a winner. Cedar Creek had three players stretching the measuring tape to over six feet. This presented the Lady Tigers with some matchup difficulties in the paint. The Lady Tigers are not ones to back away from a challenge and looked to their senior leadership to set the tone for the game. Gilmore and Methvin lead the attack for the Tigers but came up short loosing by one in overtime where they had a shot to win it as time expired. Methvin scored 28 points in this contest and she continues to be a threat from beyond three-point arc.
For the second contest of the week the Lady Tigers played host to Calvary Baptist. Early play from both squads had them utilizing the full court press to try and create turnovers. The Lady Cavs scored first on free throws but Saint Mary’s answered with a three-point shot from the top of the key by Methvin. Continued pressure commanded play in the first quarter of action and fast breaks off of rebounds afforded some scoring opportunities for both teams. The score was Tigers 11, Cavs 6.
The Lady Cavs opened the second quarter scoring off of turnovers by the Lady Tigers and errant inbound passes closing the gap in the score. The Cavs intense pressure finally resulted in enough fouls to put the Lady Tigers at the free throw line on multiple occasions to try and pull ahead. They were unable to capitalize at the free throw line only shooting 2 of 11 from the stripe. Good rebounding by the Lady Tigers kept things close and they finally settled into the half court offense to take a narrow 21 – 20 lead into halftime.
To start the second half, both squads departed from intense pressure on inbounds passes and tried to settle into their respective offensive sets. The Lady Tigers employed a zone defense and that proved effective in keeping things close in the scoring. The Cavs tried to corral the scoring threat of Methvin and had a dedicated player on her the entire half. The score was knotted at 32 to begin fourth quarter play.
The Lady Cavs resorted to pressure on the Tigers to cause turnovers. The home court was not very advantageous to the Tigers in the fourth as they had difficulty making shots. The game remained close and the Lady Tigers faced a four-point deficit with just a minute and seven seconds to play. The Lady Cavs fouled Methvin in the act of shooting a three-ball that was good with 48 seconds remaining. That sent McKenzie to the charity stripe with a chance to tie the game and she was successful making the score 45 – 45. The Cavs had the ball and a chance to win but fire an errant shot over the top of the backboard giving the ball back to the Tigers. The Tigers try to get a quality shot on goal but it doesn’t go and is knocked out of bounds by the Cavs with 8.7 seconds to go. The inbounds pass allows one shot for the win but time expires and the Lady Tigers go to overtime.
The overtime action is back and forth and tight to the 1:45 mark. Lady Cav Avery Covington #25 fouls out sending Methvin to the free throw line. She is able to tie things up again at 49. Sarah Gilmore gets a chance to add points from the free throw line but is only able to hit one making the score 50 – 49 advantage Tigers. The Lady Cavs hit a rainbow jump shot and lead by one 51 to 50. Saint Mary’s looks to Methvin who can’t close the deal missing a three-point shot off the front iron. Calvary has the ball and the lead but intense pressure from the Tigers forces the ball out of bounds with 17.8 seconds in overtime. The Cavs just have to get the ball inbounds and let time expire but on the inbounds play the Cavs step on the baseline creating a turnover to the Tigers. The Lady Tigers have to go the distance of the court and score with minimal time remaining. Saint Mary’s drives the left side of the court and needs someone to score. Sarah Gilmore with 1.9 seconds dribbles with clarity toward the hoop takes the challenge and delivers with a scoop hook that swooshes in for the Tiger victory over the Lady Cavs. Final score Saint Mary’s 52, Calvary 51. Methvin scored 32 points and the Tigers improved free throw efficiency in the second half improving to 22 of 41 for the contest. Back to back overtime games in the first week of action is exhilarating for Tiger fans. The Lady Tigers will travel to play Cedar Creek on November 20.