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Impossible is nothing. Just ask the Velma-Alma Lady Comets.
With her team down by one point with 53 seconds left in the fourth, senior Teddi Southerland hit a three-point shot off the glass, from what looked to be an impossible angle on the right side, near the baseline.
The basket sparked all of the fans wearing maroon inside Stroud’s Route 66 Coliseum, as the Lady Comets upset No. 12 Stonewall 42-40 Friday afternoon to put themselves one game away from the state tournament.
Southerland admitted she believed there was someone special guiding her crucial shot.
“Whenever it went in, I thought it had to be Braylee (Henry) who helped me,” she said. “This means everything to us. We all believed we could make it here. No one else thought we would make it, but we’re here now.”
Despite his best efforts following the victory, V-A head coach Jerry Garrett couldn’t hide his excitement nor his emotion for his entire team.
“I’m trying to hold it all together as best as I can,” he said. “It’s tough with everything that happened with Braylee. This season is for her and this team has taken off with that attitude. Rankings don’t matter, and our team doesn’t care if we’re playing the No. 1 team in the state. These girls keep battling every possession and I’m so proud of every single one of them.”
The shot was an exciting climax to a fourth quarter which saw the Lady Longhorns nab their only lead of the contest at the 1:11 mark at 37-36.
But, with SHS post player Breann Gipson fouling out late on and taking with her 11 points, the Lady Comets were able to take advantage.
V-A controlled the pace of the game from the opening tip, racing out to an 8-0 lead before Stonewall even got on the board.
When the Lady Longhorns did get points, it was 8-2 Lady Comets with 3:34 left in the first.
Going into the second quarter, the Lady Comets held an 11-5 lead, which remained in tact going into halftime at 21-16.
V-A’s biggest lead of the night came in the third quarter at nine points, as the Lady Comets took a 34-27 lead into the fourth.
From the free throw line both teams missed five times, as V-A went 8-of-13 and Stonewall shot 4-of-9.
“We didn’t know much about Stonewall coming into this game,” Garrett said. “We’ve got a tough schedule and girls basketball is good in the southwest. I feel like we’re just as good as a lot of these ranked teams here. We’re excited to keep this rolling.”
Kylee Saville paced the Lady Comets (21-7) with 15 points with Teddi Southerland close behind with 11 points.
Ariah Johnson scored eight points in the contest, with Shalyn Files adding four points. Bita Humphreys put in three points.
Stonewall (21-9) was led by Haley Snell with 13 points followed by Breann Gipson with 11 points. Kim Helms added 10 points.
V-A’s last challenge to the state tournament was a rematch with No. 5 Pond Creek-Hunter that was scheduled for Saturday night.