(Photo by Josh Mills, Staff)
BROSELEY -- The Charleston Lady Bluejays and the Kelly Lady Hawks don't like to go just four quarters.
In their last two games, Charleston and Kelly have combined for 13 quarters. Last season, they hooked up for a three overtime game in a Charleston district tournament win. On Monday night they added two more.
The Lady Hawks came on top this time around in a very close 82-81 victory to advance to the semifinals of the Twin Rivers Lady Royal Classic tournament at Twin Rivers High School.
"That's the way a girls basketball game is supposed to be," Kelly head coach Rod McQuerter said. "It came down to the wire between two good teams and they just battled it out. I was very proud of our girls and I'm very proud of Charleston's girls. It was a great game for girls basketball tonight."
The biggest difference in the score came in an eight-point favor of Kelly during the third quarter. Although after leading for most of the game, Charleston roared back at the end of the third as Lakiesha Wilson came up with a loose ball and then hit Kasuela Cooper for a layup at the buzzer to give the Lady Bluejays a 50-49 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Charleston went up by as much as six in the fourth but couldn't hold on as back-to-back buckets from Londyn Backfisch and Kristen Powell tied the game at 66-66 with 27 seconds left to go.
A shot by Wilson at the buzzer was off the mark which sent them into their first overtime.
There were six lead changes in the first overtime while free throw shooting hurt the Lady Bluejays and helped the Lady Hawks. Charleston shot 2-of-7 from the line while Kelly shot 2-of-4. Each team wound up with 74 points at the buzzer which led them to the second and final overtime.
"If we hit free throws we probably win the ball game," Charleston head coach Michael Minner said. "We just didn't play good enough to win late in the ball game. You just hate to lose a ball game like that -- you hate that for the kids."
Cooper gave the Lady Bluejays a 79-78 lead with 1:51 left with a 1-of-2 performance at the free throw line. Powell eventually gave the lead back to Kelly with 47 seconds left. A huge offensive rebound from Kelly's Samantha Fisher ended up extending the Lady Hawks' lead to three with 26 seconds remaining.
Taylor Duenne sank two free throws to cut it back to one for the Lady Bluejays shortly after. But, Kelly was able to run off around 10 seconds with just under 15 seconds left to go as the Lady Bluejays did not foul as soon as they could. Backfisch was finally fouled with 2.3 left to send her to the line.
Backfisch could not convert on two free throw attempts and Cooper came down with the rebound. Charleston called a timeout with 1.8 left to try and set up a winning basket. The inbounds pass on the opposite end of the floor was tipped away by Powell which left little to no time for the Lady Bluejays to attempt a shot as Kelly came away with the win.
"The good teams make their breaks," Minner said. "Kelly's a team that is traditionally a great ball club and they're good again this year. They do things so well."
There were 11 total lead changes in the last three quarters.
"Charleston is one of the top teams in the area," McQuerter said. "I told our girls that we had to do the little things and that starts with attitude. I preach positive attitude, play hard and play as a team. The girls did that tonight."
Cooper had her way throughout the entire night. She pulled down rebound after rebound and was almost automatic under the basket. She led all scorers with 39 points and 23 rebounds.
"You can't game plan around someone like that," McQuerter said. "You just hope to contain her. She's one of the best post-players in the area."
Sherrell added 18 points including six steals while Wilson chipped in with nine.
Kelly was led by Powell's 28 points and 13 rebounds. Backfisch had 20 points and five steals.
Charleston dropped into the semifinals of a potential fifth place game against Twin Rivers today at 5 p.m.
Kelly advanced to the semifinals against the Kennett Lady Indians today at 8 p.m.
KELLY (82) -- Haley Glastetter 4, Londyn Backfisch 20, Neely Tetley 3, Kayla Hicks 14, Ellen Ashcraft 6, Samantha Fisher 7, Kristen Powell 28. FG 32 FT 16-34 F 29. (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: Carissa Klipfel, Ashcraft.)
CHARLESTON (81) -- Jerquawnda Sherrell 18, Chelsie Lane 3, Taylor Duenne 2, Kasuela Cooper 39, Lakiesha Wilson 9, Eneikqua Ewing 2, Jasmine Spence 8. FG 26 FT 19-37 F 26. (3-pointers: Sherrell 2, Wilson. Fouled out: Lane, Spence, Ewing.)