Lady Dawgs, Bulldawgs fall in heartbreakers to Midway
By TJ MAXWELL
Bulldawg Gymnasium rattled Tuesday night as 29 points and 15 rebounds from junior Kaysha McCloud, along with a buzzer-beater three-pointer by senior Madison Griffon, sent the contest between the second-place Lady Dawgs and the first-place Midway Pantherettes into overtime in a 76-73 thriller.
Midway, however, closed out the win with an 11-8 overtime period, sparked by junior Shamaryah Duncan and capped by the final five points from junior Jakoriah Long.
The Pantherettes took advantage of a strong first quarter to take a 21-17 lead over the Lady Dawgs and bookended regulation with a 20-14 final frame to force the desperation double-clutch three-pointer that found net and knotted the game at 65-all with no time left on the clock in regulation.
The Lady Dawgs seemed to find their groove in the middle frames of the contest as they held Midway to just eight points in the second period while notching 13 of their own to take a 30-29 lead into the halftime break.
The Lady Dawgs extended their lead to double-digits, 47-36, behind 11 points and four offensive rebounds by McCloud to start the second half.
The Pantherettes then mounted a run of their own. Three-pointers by junior Reagan Ridge and Duncan; along with baskets by Long, junior Danielle Byers and junior J’Lynn Gus fueled the 19-6 Midway run to take a 55-53 lead with 5:45 left in the fourth quarter.
A three-pointer and floater by senior Jayda Carter pushed Cove back in front, 58-55, with 4:36 left in regulation.
A traditional three-point play by Long and a three from beyond the arc by Ridge quickly flipped the advantage back to Midway and two driving buckets by Duncan made it a five-point Pantherettes’ advantage with just over a minute remaining.
Two clutch free throws by McCloud and the three-point heave by Griffon then sent the game into overtime.
A pair of driving baskets by Duncan, a baseline drive by Byers and a jump shot by Long sparked an 8-2 Midway run to start the four-minute OT period.
A basket by McCloud in the paint and driving basket by Griffon brought Cove within two, 73-71, with 49 seconds remaining.
A basket by junior Leah Powell again got Cove within a point but 3 for 4 free throws by Long closed out the contest.
Following McCloud’s 29-point performance was junior Madisen Honea (14 points and three assists), Griffon (11 points, three assists), Powell (11 points, five rebounds), Carter (six points and five rebounds), junior Tiana Barker (2 points) and Keana Garrett (2 points).
The Pantherettes were led by Long’s 25 points, followed by Duncan (13 points and 10 rebounds), Ridge (11 points), Byers (11) and senior Keziah Bachert.
The Bulldawgs lost to the Panthers a low-scoring affair, 47-39, in the second game of the varsity double-header.
Despite maintaining a lead for most of the first half, the Bulldawgs found themselves battling from behind for the entire second half.
Seven points from Cove junior Isaiah Sobers and a three-pointer by senior Quinton Ford helped the Dawgs mount a 12-8 lead after one quarter and a basket by junior Nisher Marks pushed that lead to six, 14-8, to start the second quarter.
Free throws and a basket in the paint by senior Tyrese Taylor helped Cove fight off a rally by the Panthers, sparked by consecutive three-pointers by junior Anthony Scott.
A pair of free throws and a three-pointer from Midway junior Godsgift Ezedinma gave Midway the lead at 19-18 and another three-pointer by junior Jordan Byers made it a 22-19 lead at the break.
The Panthers pushed their lead to seven, 31-24 on baskets by Ezedinma, junior Michael Jefferson and a traditional three-point play by senior Levi Whiddon.
A 6-0 run on baskets by Taylor and Ford brought Cove within one, 31-30 with 44 seconds left but a putback by Ezedinma made it a 33-30 Midway lead after three.
A pair of three-pointers by Jefferson sparked an 8-3 run to start the fourth quarter. A free throw by Taylor, a steal for a layup by senior Damon Hewing pulled Cove within two scores but a pair of slam dunks by Jefferson bookended the second three-pointer of the fourth quarter by Ford for the 47-39 final score.
Taylor had 14 points and seven rebounds and Ford had 14 points to lead the Bulldawgs followed by Sobers (7 points), Hewing (two points) and Marks (two points).
Midway was led by 13 points and eight rebounds by Ezedinma, followed by Jefferson (12 points) and junior Anthony Scott (eight points).
The Cove hoopsters have a bye tonight but return to action Tuesday at Harker Heights.
The Lady Dawgs (24-8, 9-4 in District 12-6A) will be battling for the second seed against the Lady Knights (10-3) in the first game at 6:30 p.m. while the Bulldawgs (17-13, 4-7) will look to halt their district skid against the Knights (12-16, 3-8) in the nightcap.