PREPS: Carson girls overcome slow start to beat Tigers in OT

It was only fitting that a nightmarish shooting game came down to free throws.

Carson High's Elayna Shine sank a pair of free throws with 19 seconds left in overtime Saturday evening, giving the Senators a 40-39 lead over Douglas High.

That proved to be just enough over a furious final stretch during which possession changed hands five times in 15 seconds.

The final buzzer sounded without Douglas getting another shot off.

"It's the same every year," Carson coach Todd Ackerman said. "Records don't matter, it's always close, there's always a twist or two.

"It wasn't pretty, but it's a win and we'll take it. I'm happy for our girls and I feel bad for Douglas because they really played hard."

The wild finish closed the book on the latest back-and-forth contest between the archrivals.

The lead changed hands nine times in the game and neither team managed a field goal over the final minute and a half after Jazmyn Stokes put Carson up 38-37 with a layup.

Douglas missed a pair of free throws with 37 seconds left, then Carson missed a pair with 23 seconds left.

Douglas' Jackie Harper was fouled after grabbing the rebound with 21.1 seconds left and sank both of her shots to put the Tigers up 39-38.

Following Shine's go-ahead shots, Douglas turned the ball over with 9 seconds left and promptly sent the Senators back to the line where they missed both shots.

Carly McCullough grabbed the rebound for the Tigers and Douglas called a timeout with six seconds left.

On the ensuing inbound, Tiana McAllister-Daggs broke up the pass to give possession back to Carson, but the Senators promptly turned it back over, giving Douglas one more chance with 2.4 left on the clock.

The Senators clogged up the passing lanes, though, and didn't allow Douglas to get a shot off.

The second quarter was a defensive struggle as the two teams combined for just four field goals and no free throws.

Douglas built an 11-3 lead to start the night with an 11-0 run over the course of 10 minutes between the first and second quarters.

Matley broke the Senators' offensive drought with a 3-pointer 13 minutes into the game, marking Carson's first field goal of the game.

"We didn't score for quite a while," Ackerman said. "We took good shots, we got open looks, but they weren't falling.

"You can't complain, because they were good shots. It just didn't happen. They kept working at it, though."

Matley's shot, with 2:43 left in the first half, started a 5-2 run for the Senators that closed the score to 13-8 heading into the locker rooms.

Carson came out ramping up its defensive pressure and quickly put a 12-2 run together to go up 20-17.

We had to pick up a bit more on defense," Ackerman said. "We had a tough, physical game last night (at Wooster) and the girls were a bit slow coming out tonight.

"They knew they had to step it up and they did a nice job."

Douglas opened the fourth quarter on a 10-0 run, though, to go back up 30-25 with 2:46 left in the game.

Carson steadily pieced together a comeback, getting baskets from Whitney Nash, Eliza Matley and Stokes to go up 32-30.

Tia Lyons sent the game into overtime with a nice runner with 45 seconds left.

Jackie Harper hit a 3-pointer to give Douglas a 35-32 lead at the beginning of overtime and Lyons hit a high-arcing two-pointer to answer a basket from Stokes with 2:51 left, but that proved to be the Lady Tigers' final field goal of the night.

Shine and Stokes shared the team lead in scoring with nine point apiece for Carson while Nash added eight and Matley had seven.

Douglas got 10 points from Harper, eight each from Alex Laing and McCullough and six from Lyons in the loss.


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