Sullivan Outlasts Waynesville In Overtime
Five games into the season, Sullivan had their share of close calls.
In the season opener at Rolla, they fended off a fourth quarter rally. In the semifinal and championship games of the Marquette Tournament, they ousted top-seeded Lafayette in overtime and hung on in the final seconds against Fort Zumwalt West.
Monday’s home opener against Waynesville was another routine nail biter.
Trailing 54-50 with 90 seconds to play in overtime, Sullivan scored the final eight points and turned away the Lady Tigers 58-54.
From the fourth quarter on, the game featured 11 lead changes and two ties. After getting off to a hot start, Sullivan’s offense cooled through the middle of the game, but they turned it back on in the final 12 minutes. The Lady Eagles shot 7-for-11 from the floor, including 3-for-3 from long distance. That hot shooting helped negate five fourth quarter turnovers in a game where both teams struggled to contain the ball.
Waynesville committed three straight turnovers on three consecutive trips down the floor. The first led to a game-tying jumper from Clare Shetley with a minute to play. The second broke the tie when Mallory Shetley tipped a pass, streaked down court and was fouled with 23 seconds remaining. She hit both free throws to make it 56-54.
On the next possession, Re’Shawna Stone lost the handle on the ball attempting a drive to the glass. Bria Jones collected it and was tackled from behind with eight seconds left.
Referees called it a technical foul and Jones hit both shots to provide the final score.
Sullivan emerged victorious despite leading 18-6 at the end of the first quarter and scoring the game’s first nine points. Waynesville slowly crept back in with a second quarter run.
The Lady Tigers outscored Sullivan 17-4 and finished the half on a 6-0 run. A 3-pointer from Naudia Evans with 1:10 remaining tied the game at 22-22 and Victoria Perry’s free throw with 21 seconds left gave the Tigers a 23-22 lead at the half.
The teams swapped the lead early in the third quarter, but Sullivan opened up a 33-28 lead on a 3-pointer by Clare Shetley with 4:15 remaining. Waynesville responded with an 8-0 run to close the period. Kiara Shoulders’ putback and a trey by Makenzie Coleman with 26 seconds left Sullivan trailing 36-33.
Sullivan went more than five minutes without a field goal until Katie Creek’s 3-pointer with 6:50 to play. Clare Shetley put Sullivan back on top 38-37 with a pair of free throws, but Waynesville immediately responded. The lead changed hands nine times in the fourth quarter, each one feeling like a momentum shift. Evans knocked down a 3 with 1:25 remaining to give Waynesville a 47-45 lead, but Creek responded on the next possession.
After a partial three-point play by Mallory Shetley, Shoulders put the Tigers back on top 50-49 with the ‘and 1’ with 36 seconds. Waynesville sent Mallory Shetley back to the line nine seconds later. She hit one of two, tying the game at 50. Both teams had cracks at ending the game in regulation.
Waynesville raced out to a 54-50 lead in overtime, with Stone knocking down a pull-up jumper and Shoulders driving inside. Clare Shetley’s jumpers on the next two trips down tied the game.