Wild night in Moberly as Mexico girls win in OT

Wild night in Moberly as Mexico girls win in OT
Mya Miller gets by Moberly's Alaina Link. Miller almost recorded a triple double in Mexico's overtime win on Friday. [Eric Mattson]
By: 
Dave Faries
Editor

In the aftermath of the Bulldogs 66-61 overtime win at Moberly on Friday night, head coach Ed Costley could only heave a sigh and shake his head in disbelief.

“It was pretty wild,” he said.

The two sides combined for 61 turnovers, 28 on the part of Mexico. They exchanged the advantage twice in the final 15 seconds of regulation. Indeed, it seemed as if the Bulldogs and their hosts traded the lead every other quarter.

“Thank goodness it didn’t go another overtime period, it would have been them,” Costley noted.

But in added time, Riley Blevins dropped a jumper with 1:30 to go to break the tie. The Bulldogs pulled down offensive rebounds on their next three possessions, forcing the Spartans to foul.

Free throws in the final minute made the difference. Mexico remains unbeaten in conference play with a 16-3 overall mark and earned first seed in the district tournament.

When the teams last met a month ago, the Bulldogs sauntered to a 60-37 win. On Friday it was a different story, as they were forced to come from behind.

With 35 seconds on the clock in the fourth, Abby Oetting slipped into an open bit of hardwood, called for the ball and drained a three to make it a one-point game. As time ticked under the 15 second mark, Riley Thurman’s bucket put Mexico on top by one. Then Moberly sank a free throw to knot the game at 55-55 and set up OT.

“We struggled defensively,” Costley acknowledged. “We were leaving shooters wide open.”

The Spartans Claire Billington benefited the most, bombing the Bulldogs for 32 points. Yet each time Moberly surged ahead, a big play by Mexico hauled them back.

With the Bulldogs down 23-19 in the second quarter, Blevins drove into the arc and then kicked the ball back out to Thurman, who netted a three. Moments later Taylor DeMint snagged a loose ball, fed Mya Miller on the break. Miller took the ball to the rim, but handed off to Blevins for the lay in.

In the third, the Bulldogs were on top 35-32 when Capri’Ona Fountain was fouled in the act, scoring a two plus one to extend the tenuous lead.

“That was a key play,” Costley observed. “If we don’t get those points, we could have been in trouble.”

Fountain scored 5 off the bench. Oetting put 7 on the board and DeMint 4 – to go with 4 boards and 4 steals.

Big nights were recorded by the Rileys and Miller. Riley Thurman banged in 24 points and 11 rebounds, dominating in the paint. Miller almost notched a triple double, with 15 points, 12 boards and 9 steals. Riley Blevins added 11 points and 4 rebounds.

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