The Lady Bears lost a hard fought game in overtime, 50-49, Wednesday night to Bishop McGuinness. The match was the second round of the NCAA state tournament.
“It was an exciting game, no doubt about that,” said Mount Airy Head Coach Howard Mayo.
When asked if he thought the lack of fouls against Mount Airy had an impact on the game, Mayo said he thought there were at least a couple of times that the Lady Bears drew fouls and the officials did not see it that way. “They are the ones with the whistles so we have to go with what they say,” commented Mayo.
Mount Airy got on the scoreboard on a basket by Danielle Williams with 3:02 remaining in the first quarter. Granite Bear Summer Hamilton netted two moments later as Mount Airy grappled with the Villain offense. Bishop led 14-7 at the end of the opening stanza.
Hiatt announced the Bears’ assault on Bishop McGuinness, scoring on a diving shot seconds into the second quarter. Barbour scored and Mount Airy had shaved the Villain lead to seven points. Symone Simmons hit two from the foul line at the 4:53 mark and Hamilton netted two points to whittle the Bishop lead to two points half way into the period as the Lady Bears came roaring back. The Villains then mounted a bit of a rally of their own but Hamilton hit a three-pointer and Hiatt scored with around a minute left in the quarter as Bishop saw its lead evaporate to one point. Fans on both sides of the gym were on their feet cheering as the buzzer sounded.
Mount Airy pulled ahead by two points in the third on a basket by Williams with 4:16 left on the clock. Hamilton passed to Alex Atkins who made the shot and gave the Bears a 34-29 lead before Bishop rallied. Atkins scored on a pass from Hiatt with less than a minute in the quarter. Hamilton pumped in two more and the Bears led 40-35 at the end of the third.
The Bears led 40-35 at the end of the third quarter and pulled farther ahead on a basket by Davi Barbour with less than a minute off the clock in the fourth to make the score 43-35. Mount Airy’s Jordan Hiatt was fouled with 1:18 left in regulation and nailed two foul shots to make the score 47-43 in favor of the Bears. The Lady Villains collected one point at the foul line to cut the Bears to a two-point lead. Another two shots at the foul line with less than a minute left in the fourth sent the game into overtime with the score knotted at 47.
Mayo said that the Bears collectively struggled with their half court set in the fourth. “We just couldn’t run our sets like we wanted,” commented Mayo.
He explained that Mount Airy efforts unintentionally took time off the clock. “We wanted to attack,” said Mayo. “But we just got timid.”
Bishop inched ahead in the overtime period on a basket by Cameron Nieters, which made the score 49-47. The Lady Bears pushed back and Kathryn Beasley hit paydirt from the charity stripe to tie the game at 49 all with 20 seconds left. Villain Sammi Goldsmith gave Bishop the one-point margin for victory with less than five seconds left in the period on a foul shot.
“It was a really good game,” added Mayo.
He said he wished it could have happened in a semifinal or final in the tournament and not so early in the competition.
“Somebody had to win and somebody had to lose,” said Mayo. “Unfortunately it was us.”
Mayo complemented the contributions of the team’s seniors all season. He said that Hiatt and Williams were instrumental in winning 95 ballgames, the most in the school’s history in a four-year stretch.
The team finished with an overall record of 23-6.
Reach David Broyles at email@example.com or at 719-1952.