Community ousts MTCS from 9-A tourney in OT thriller
HUNTLAND — Bend but don’t break.
That was the case for the Community Viqueens Monday night as they battled the MTCS Lady Cougars in a District 9-A quarterfinal elimination matchup.
When it was all said and done, the Viqueens survived a late comeback by the Lady Cougars in regulation and went on to defeat MTCS 55-49 in overtime.
“I’m just so proud of these kids for the effort that they put forth,” Coach Misty Thompson of the Viqueens said.
“Yes, we made a lot of turnovers and a lot of silly mistakes, but they just never quit,” Thompson said.
“It’s the most guts I’ve ever seen. I’m so proud of that.”
The Viqueens never trailed in the contest, though the Lady Cougars tied the game and had a chance to take the lead on several occasions.
Community (16-9) was clicking on all cylinders with an impressive first quarter.
Led by seven points from Kizzey Lane and six each from Sydney Segroves and Alyssa Freeman, the Viqueens were hot from both the outside and inside. Segroves and Lane each had two three-pointers as the Viqueens scored the first six points of the contest. Community went up 21-8, its biggest lead of the game, before ending the quarter with a 21-10 advantage.
It was the Lady Cougars who had the hot hand in the second quarter. Erin Thompson scored four points for the Viqueens, but MTCS, with the help of three treys, outscored Community 14-8 to cut the Viqueen lead to 29-24 at halftime.
The Lady Cougars narrowed the Community lead to 32-30 in the third quarter before the Viqueens got their offense jump-started.
Led by eight points from Thompson, the Viqueens found success in the paint with eight consecutive points to increase their lead to 40-30.
Community ended the quarter with a 40-33 advantage.
The Viqueen offense could only muster five points in the final quarter as the Lady Cougars crawled back into the game.
A steal and basket by Logan Brothers put the Viqueens up 42-38, but MTCS charged back. The Lady Cougars cut the Community lead to 42-41 before the Viqueens increased their advantage to 45-41 on a layup by Jaley Vincent with 27 seconds left.
The Lady Cougars used a free throw with 19 seconds remaining and a trey by Cammie Adams with 10 seconds left to tie the game at 45-45 and bring on overtime.
Vincent connected on two free throws with 2:47 left to put Community up 47-45 in the extra period.
The teams traded baskets, leaving the Viqueens with a 51-49 lead and 1:17 remaining.
With a stingy defense the rest of the way and with the help of an 8-of-10 performance at the free throw line, the Viqueens scored the final four points of the overtime to claim the hard fought win.
Thompson led three Viqueens in double figures with 18 points. Lane had 13 points, while Freeman added 10.
Adams led MTCS with 18 points. Abby Buckner added 12.
The Viqueens were 15-of-23 at the line, while the Lady Cougars were 11-of-19.
“We had periods of time where our offense wasn’t scoring particularly well, but I felt like we were pretty solid on defense the whole night,” Thompson said. Community turns its attention to the semifinals and a matchup against top-seeded Moore County Thursday night in Huntland. Game time is 6 p.m.
“We played them close at home. I feel like we have the confidence now that we can at least play with them,” Thompson said.
“We’ll bring that and hopefully we’ll have another gut check.”
The win also guarantees a spot for the Viqueens in the Region 5-A tournament next week.
Community 21 8 11 5 10 — 55
MTCS 10 14 9 12 4 — 49
Community: Erin Thompson 18, Kizzey Lane 13, Alyssa Freeman 10, Sydney Segroves 8, Logan Brothers 2, Jaley Vincent 4, A. K. Lemmons, Gracie Simmons.
MTCS: Cammie Adams 18, Abby Buckner 12, Saylor Hodges 5, Emma Self 5, Josie Spivey, Kayla Taylor 9, Jacye Wilkerson.
3-Point goals: Community (4): Lane 2, Segroves 2; MTCS (8): Adams 3, Taylor 3, Buckner, Hodges.
Halftime score: Community 29, MTCS 24.