By Charles Curcio, Sports Editor
Stanly News and Press
Thursday, January 17, 2013 —
In the sweltering confines of the West Montgomery Middle School gym, two Stanly County schools put on a game for the ages to decide the 2012 Rocky River Middle School Athletic Conference girls’ basketball title in front of a packed house of fans and students from both schools.
The two teams battled into overtime where Callie Cline preserved both an undefeated season and lifted the Colts to the championship with a buzzer-beating three-pointer for a 26-24 win over South Stanly.
Bailey Huneycutt paced West Stanly (12-0) with nine points while Cline added eight points.
Makayla Dockery led South Stanly (9-3) with 11 points.
The Bulls built an 11-6 lead in the first quarter, getting six points from Dockery along with a Jaida Allen three-pointer and a Brienna Laskowski bucket in the period.
In the second, West Stanly rallied for for five points to tie the game at halftime 11-11.
Neither team led by more than three points in the second half as the two teams either tied the score or the lead changed hands eight times in the final 12 minutes.
Huneycutt gave West a 21-18 lead with 3:53 left in the fourth, but Allen tied the game with a three of her own for South with just under two minutes left.
West led 23-21 with 2:25 left in the overtime period on an Abbey Waggoner bucket, but South retook the lead on Waggoner’s fifth foul of the the game that sent Eboni Horne to the line for two shots with :38 on the clock. Horne knocked down the second free throw to give South Stanly a 24-23 advantage.
After a time out, West Stanly entered the front court but could not get a shot off and called another time out with six seconds left on the clock.
West Stanly head coach Brian Brown called a play designed to get the ball back to the inbounder for the shot, but point guard Jillian Barbee could not get the ball back to the inbounder.
Instead, Barbee found Cline open on the left wing behind the three-point arc. Cline rose up for the shot falling away from the basket and hit nothing but the bottom of the next as the clock expired to give West Stanly the win.
Cline later said that her shot was “pretty big” and talked about her team’s season.
“We had a good season with no drama, really,” Cline said.
Brown said that the championship game Tuesday night “was the most incredible thing I have ever been a part of,” adding that “the ladies all deserve the credit.”
The West coach also talked about the difficulty of playing a team a third time, saying that South Stanly “took away our post play so we had to hit a few shots from the outside.”
South head coach Scott Stevens said that he told his team after the game that he could not be prouder of them.
“They played as hard as they could. I told them that it is not about how many times you lose but how many times you get back up. West played a great game and we gave them three tough games this season,” Stevens said.
SS 11 0 7 3 3 24
WS 6 5 6 3 5 26
SS – Dockery 11, Allen 6, Lisk 2, Horne 2, Laskowski 2, Harris 2.
WS – Huneycutt 9, Cline 8, Waggoner 6, Barbee 3