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While the Velma-Alma Lady Comets didn’t exactly put on a masterpiece performance against Frederick Monday night in Marlow, they won’t argue with the outcome.
A sloppy, low scoring contest came down to the final seconds of the fourth quarter as Bita Humphreys knocked the ball away down court just long enough for time to run out, as V-A survived 35-33 over the Lady Bombers, advancing to the Stephens County Tournament championship semifinals.
“We did some not very smart plays near the end of the game,” V-A coach Jerry Garrett said. “I told our girls that someone was going to have to make a play. Kylee (Saville) making a three pointer like she did really sparked us late on. But, we’ve got to make free throws and do a better job rebounding.”
Ironically enough, with 1.7 seconds left on the clock, Frederick became its own worst enemy.
Just before the Lady Bombers Alexsis Vasquez could pull the trigger on what would have been a go-ahead three point shot, head coach Grant Givens called timeout.
Vasquez’s shot hit nothing but net, but only after the whistle had blown.
With the ensuing in bounds play, Humphreys, along with Teddi Southerland stuck out a hand and managed to get just enough to where the ball went past half court as the clock winded down.
“It’s tough them making that shot,” Garrett said. “But again when they called the timeout we weren’t on them that hard. But you never know in that type of situation. We just wanted to forced them to throw the ball in and get a good look. Our girls did a good job out there.”
V-A didn’t take the lead for good until 43 seconds left in the fourth at 35-33, only after Saville tied the game at 33-33 with a three-point shot with 2:38 left in regulation.
Frederick meanwhile, had led for the majority of the fourth by as many as three points multiple times.
However, with the fouling out of sophomore post Courtney Haynes late in the fourth, went with it 16 rebounds as the game opened up for the Lady Comets.
“She (Haynes) was getting everything out there,” Garrett said. “That was a huge swing because we were fouling her when she had the ball. When she went out that helped us a lot because Aria (Johnson) was able to maneuver a little better since she had been guarding her so close.”
Frederick held an 8-7 at the end of the first quarter, before the game was tied 15-15 going into halftime and at the end of the third quarter 24-24.
The Lady Comets (12-5) biggest lead of the game was with 6:40 remaining in the third at 19-15.
However the lead didn’t last for long as the Lady Bombers slowly but surely chipped away at the deficit.
Ultimately though, V-A had enough nerve to pull through and advance.
Saville led all scorers on the night with 20 points to go with five rebounds and seven steals. Aria Johnson put in nine points along with 10 rebounds. Shalyn Files put in four points while Bita Humphreys added two points.
Frederick (5-9) was paced by Courtney Haynes and Nyteala Perry each with eight points. Tamara Perry added seven points.
V-A will meet Central High Thursday night at 5 p.m. in the winners bracket, while Frederick will face Comanche on Friday night (5 p.m.) in the consolation bracket.