After witnessing an 11-point fourth-quarter lead vanish, the Brownwood Lady Lions scored 11 of the final 13 points in overtime to rally past the Abilene Lady Eagles, 60-55, Tuesday night at Warren Gym.
The victory snapped a season-worst three-game losing skid for the Lady Lions (4-7), with all those losses taking place at the Abilene Polk-Key City Classic this past weekend.
“This was a huge win after this past weekend,” said Lady Lions head coach Nikki Heath. “We needed to come out and play good for four quarters and get the win. I thought our kids did a really good job today.”
Three Lady Lions finished in double figures for the first time this season as Gabby Colbert led the way with 14 points, Hailey Williams added 12 points and LaCresha Williams chipped in 11 points.
Guards Sabrina Castillo and Moochie Galloway contributed eight and seven points, respectively.
Abilene (3-9) was led by a dozen points each from Madison Reyes and Erin Wartes, along with 10 points from Madison Beard.
Reyes recorded the first two buckets of the overtime session for Abilene, which led 53-49 with 2:38 remaining.
The Lady Lions answered with seven points of their own, and did not allow Abilene to score for a 1:49 stretch.
A deuce from Galloway and a Hailey Williams free throw trimmed the deficit to 53-52 with 2:05 left, then Colbert converted an offensive rebound into two points which gave Brownwood a 54-53 advantage with 2:01 left.
Hailey Williams added two more free throws to increase the lead to 56-53 with 1:42 remaining.
“We settled down and I thought we did a good job of keeping our composure although they hit some big buckets,” Heath said. “They didn’t lose their cool and they kept fighting.”
Beard’s bucket with 49 seconds left brought Abilene within 56-55, then her steal with 15 seconds left appeared to present the Lady Eagles with a chance for the final shot.
But Hailey Williams turned around and stole the outlet pass with 12 seconds left and was fouled three seconds later. Williams made both her free throws, and Shalisa Hall added a pair with four-tenths of a second left to seal the victory.
“That was pure pressure,” said LaCresha Williams. “We were trying to hold them. We were ahead by so much, we lost it, but we came back at the end and got it.”
The Lady Lions owned a 44-33 lead with 6:27 left in regulation, but scored just one point over the next 6:03 as Abilene stormed in front, 49-45.
Gabby Zonker’s three-pointer with 39 seconds left gave Abilene its largest lead of the night and put the Lady Lions’ backs against the wall.
“We were just throwing the ball away,” Heath said of the six-minute plus drought. “We had something like five turnovers in the first half and within that little stretch we had four. You just can’t turn the ball over in a close game like that. That’s what hurt us.”
But Hailey Williams sank two free throws with 24 seconds left, then Galloway hit the tying jump shot with 10 seconds remaining.
Galloway’s field goal was set up by a midcourt steal from Alex Williams.
Brownwood also held a 25-14 lead midway through the second period, but it too evaporated in the third quarter.
Abilene capped a 16-5 run at the 4:27 mark of the third quarter with a Wartes jumper, which evened the score at 30-all.
The Lady Lions responded with 11 of the final 12 points in the third period to take a 41-31 lead into the fourth quarter.
Colbert scored the first four points of the run, Castillo and LaCresha Williams added buckets and Alex Williams tallied the final three points of the quarter.
“I told them to be patient on offense and we’ll get what we want to get if you’ll just look,” Heath said. “They did a good job finding each other today and I think this is best we’ve done that.”
Brownwood will be back in action Thursday at the Clyde tournament.