The Saratoga Sun -

Lady Tigers fight through double overtime


Liz Wood

With four seconds left in the fourth quarter, Konnar Knotwell shoots a 3-pointer to tie the game, as HEM Miner Cheyenne Tompkins runs to block the shot.

The Encampment Lady Tigers' last home game of the season was quite an emotional roller coaster, after fans watched them take a 38-42 double overtime hit from Hanna-Elk Mountain-Medicine Bow's Lady Miners.

The game really got kicking in the second half, when the Lady Tigers held a lead against the Lady Miners through the third quarter, thanks to outside shots from Jennifer Morgan and Konnar Knotwell. However, the Lady Miners continued to box out the Lady Tigers, forcing them to take more outside shots.

In the third quarter, the Lady Miners caught up to the Tigers at 22. Alyssa Barkhurst and Cassidy Little scored points with layups, forcing their way through the tight HEM defense.

With a little more than a minute remaining, Barkhurst fouled out with a tied score of 31. HEM's Shelby Bowen scored 1 point on the free-throw.

Knotwell fouled on HEM's Haley Clark, who hit both free throws, giving HEM the lead with 26 seconds remaining in the game.

Head coach Amy Clay later called a time out, and when the Lady Tigers returned to the court the ball was passed to Knotwell, who sunk a 3-pointer with four seconds remaining.

After a second, HEM lost possession and at the buzzer, Knotwell attempted another 3-pointer and missed. The game then went into its first overtime.

With a little more than a minute remaining and no change in the score, Encampment fouled, putting HEM's Clark back at the line making both of her free throws. Encampment tied the game again with 8 seconds left, and the game went into its second overtime.

Despite several attempts, the Lady Tigers nor the Lady Miners could score a point until two minutes into the game, when Shelby Bowen sunk a 3-pointer. Knotwell then answered with a 2-pointer.

Excitement from the fans filled the air as the teams raced back and forth across the court. McKenzie Powell fouled Shelby Bowen, who hit two from the line with 25 second remaining.

Jennifer Morgan fouled out with less than 10 seconds remaining and the Miners scored another point at the line. Knotwell made one more attempt at a 3-pointer at the buzzer, but to no avail, and the Lady Tigers lost 38 to 42.

Knotwell came out as the top scorer Friday, with 15 points, and Little managed the most rebounds at 12. Head coach Amy Clay said she was proud of her girls, but that there were several mishaps they could have avoided throughout the game.

"We fouled too much, they outscored us 14 to 4 at the line and we shot 29 percent from the field," Clay said. "It was a disappointing outcome."

The Lady Tigers' other recent close loss came as 30-34, after playing at home against North Park Feb. 11. In that game, Alyssa Barkhurst scored 14 points, Cassidy Little pulled in 12 and Jenny Morgan and Konnar Knotwell managed two each.

"We came out sharp and were up 7-1 at the beginning, and then our guards struggled with passing," Clay said. "We had 26 turnovers, and we can't have that if we're going to win. We'll just go back and start passing again."

Clay said Cassidy Little fouling out at 1:47 left in the game also hurt them near the end.

"She's a big important part of our success, so it hurts," she said. "She's a real team leader and a good player. We also turned it over too much, and 16 rebounds is not enough. We know what to work on."

Last week's unfortunate defeats put Encampment down to 9-11 overall and 3-4 for conference, but the girls still ranked third in the 1A Southwest Conference as of last week.

The Lady Tigers' next game and final one before regionals is against Little Snake River's Lady Rattlers, starting at 3 p.m. Friday in Baggs.

"We have to regroup to play Baggs on Friday," Clay said.

Scoring stats:

Key- points [p], rebounds [r], assists [a], blocks [b]

Friday, Feb. 21 vs. HEM

Konnar Knotwell- 15 p, 6 r

Alyssa Barkhurst- 8 p, 3 a, 5 r

Cassidy Little- 6 p, 5 a, 12 r, 3 b

Jennifer Morgan- 5 p, 8 r, 2 b

McKenzie Powell- 4 p


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