With strong defense and a trio of players in double digits, the Cassville Lady Wildcats played their way into overtime against the host Lady Bulldogs in Wednesday's district semi-final game at Carl Junction. But the Carl Junction girls pitched a shutout in the OT period and escaped with a 57-45 victory in the Class 4 District 12 contest.
For the Lady Wildcats, it was a night of "could have been." Led by a 16-point performance by Jaime Everett, Cassville held a 13-point lead late in the third quarter. But Carl Junction stormed back to tie the game with a 16-4 run in the final period.
The teams played hot potato with the lead over the last four minutes of regulation, and Emily Speakman beat the buzzer with a bucket in the lane to send the game to overtime.
Carl Junction dominated play in the extra frame, playing superior defense and making critical free throws in pulling away to the victory.
The Lady Wildcats ended their season with a 13-14 record. The Lady Bulldogs moved on to the championship game, where they fell to Aurora, 62-30.
"Carl Junction has a really good young team. Our group gave a great effort but were unable to overcome the late foul trouble, and we had a couple of kids under the weather," reported Cassville's Chris Shore.
"I was really proud of how we improved throughout the season," added Shore. "These kids competed no matter what the circumstance."
Scoring for Cassville were: Jaime Everett, 16; Emily Speakman, 12; Kennadi Howard, 10; Katelyn Pitts, 3; and Kelsey Vollenweider and Raeghan Blisard, 2 each.