Troopers escape with overtime win over Cougars

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By Jonathan Wise, Sports Writer

SPRINGVILLE- The Mooreville Troopers trailed most of the game but rallied late to beat South Pontotoc in overtime Friday night, picking up a big Division 4-3A win on the road. After trailing by as many as 14 in the 3rd quarter, the Troopers outscored South 32-18 over the final 12 minutes, doubling their point total until that time,to take the contest into overtime and ultimately win 75-73.

In the overtime Mooreville jumped in front with the first six points on baskets from Payton McCord (2) and Bo Thomas. Mooreville continued to lead as six until under a minute and a half to go, when a jumper from Brett Riley and two free throws from Maleik Below pulled South to within 74-72 with 53.5 seconds to go.

The Cougars missed key free throws in the final 30 seconds that could have tied the game or gave them the lead, but a missed foul shot from Mooreville’s Lane Winter with 10.3 seconds to go kept contest at a one-possessor margin and left the door open for the Cougars. After having to go the length of the court with 8.3 ticks left, the Cougars were able to get two good looks to win or tie it with a three-pointer and subsequent offensive rebound put back attempt near the buzzer, but neither could find the bottom of the net.

“We feel like we let this one get away from us,” South coach Shane Murphree said. “We led most of the way, but Mooreville made every big play down the stretch that they had to. They are a very experienced, well-coached team. We missed some key free throws, made some turnovers, and gave up some easy baskets in the paints. All that added up to going to overtime.

“We played hard in the overtime, but Mooreville just made one more play than we did.”

South trailed by seven in the 1st quarter before back to back three pointers fell from Eddie Ivy and Reese Duncan. Aspen Trice then grabbed a long rebound off a missed shot and drove to the hoop, converting the shot and making the ensuing foul shot for a 3-point play that put the Cougars on top 13-11 at end of the period.

Over the course of the 2nd quarter the Cougars held a small but persistent lead. Up 31-27 a the start of the 3rd, South went on a 10-2 run to open the half. Trice and Carson Newell drilled shots from 3-point range, and Riley hit two jumpers as the Cougars opened it up a 41-29 advantage with 4:42 to go.

A hook shot from Riley and two free throws from Riley gave the Cougars a game-high lead of 45-31 with 4:01 to play in the quarter before Mooreville stormed back. A three from Cam Lockridge tied the game in the final minute of regulation. Below led four Cougars in double figures with 23 points. Riley added 16, Trice 12 and Newell 10. Mooreville was paced by Santo Jamerson with 18 and McCord with 17. Despite the loss the Cougars enter the home stretch of the season having already doubled last year’s win total with 8 victories.

Mooreville 55, South Pontotoc (G) 45

The South Pontotoc Lady Cougars simply got too far behind on Friday night, falling behind as many as 16 points in the first half in a 55-45 loss to Mooreville.

The Lady Troopers stormed out of the gates with a 17-5 opening quarter behind a pair of 3-pointers from Summer Ray Price and six points from Bailey Filgo.

In the 2nd Mooreville opened up as much as a 18-point edge after scoring 8 of the first 10 points. Adrianna Gamble got the run started with a post up score, and after additional buckets from Price and Filgo gave the Lady Troopers a 25-7 lead on a layup with just under three minutes to play in the 1st half. After that the Lady Cougars regrouped and found their stride. A 15-4 run got the contest back within seven points by the final 30 ticks of the 2nd quarter. The scoring streak started with a pull up jumper from Abbey Montgomery. Mary Kate Harmon and Montgomery then proceeded to knocked down back to back treys. Montgomery hit a second three, followed by a jumper from Harmon and a putback off of the offensive glass from Ashley Brasher. A three from Price once again gave the Lady Troopers a 10-point of 32-22 at the half.

In the early 3rd quarter the Lady Cougars continued to close the gap. Two free throws from Brasher cut it to 7 at the 5:36 mark, and a third 3-pointer from Montgomery made it a 35-31 contest with 1:22 remaining in the quarter. However, Mooreville scored six of the final eight points and would be lead by less than 7 the entire 4th quarter. South would cut the deficit to 7 on pair occasions in the final period

“We struggled offensively. That and turnovers really hurt us,” said South Pontotoc coach Shane Hayles. “We just got in too big of a hole. We did make an adjustment defensively, and after we were able to stop the bleeding so to speak. We cut the lead to 5 (in the 3rd), but then we went seven possessions without scoring.

“I thought Abbey Montgomery came in tonight and really assert herself offensively and gave us a big lift. The kids played hard, but some of the little things got us beat.”