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Lady Panthers win OT thriller, advance to semis
Holding on to win close games has become a common occurrence of late for the Maxwell High girls basketball team.
The Panthers watched a 10-point fourth-quarter lead slip away before securing a 47-46 overtime victory against Redding Adventist in the second round of the Division VI playoffs Friday in Maxwell.
It took an impressive shooting performance from behind the 3-point arc to pull the No. 8 Lumberjacks (17-5, 8-2 Pioneer-Valley) back into the game, but Maxwell held on to win as they did against Portola 44-43 on Feb. 8 and against Colusa 34-32 on Feb. 12.
No. 1 Maxwell (16-5, 9-1 Mid-Valley champions) advanced to today's semifinals where they host No. 4 Butte Valley (13-7, 8-2 Evergreen co-champions), who beat No. 5 Westwood 58-46 on Friday. Game time is 7 p.m.
Joanie Wade hit a mid-range jump shot with 30 seconds left to give Redding Adventist a one-point lead, but Jenna Powell got to the free-throw line with 15 seconds left.
Powell missed the first shot before Maxwell coach Leo LaGrande called a timeout. She returned after the timeout, took a deep breath and sank the second shot, tying the game 39-39.
"I was so nervous, I mean, I had to make it to help my team. They were doing everything they could to keep us in it," Powell said.
Rachel Dunbar, who hit five 3-pointers in the game, drew a foul with seven seconds left but missed the first half of the one-and-one, giving Maxwell a shot at overtime.
"We didn't change our defense when she was making 3's soon enough, obviously, so I had to man on (Dunbar)," senior guard Ashley Azevedo said.
Kaily McKinley and Jessie Otterson scored the first two buckets of overtime, but Wade it a one-possession game with her first 3-pointer.
Azevedo and the Wade traded buckets before the Lumberjacks began trying to foul. Hannah Groen reached in on Azevedo with 14 seconds left for a one-and-one, but the Panthers' senior leader hit both shots for a 47-44 lead.
Two timeouts later, Groen pulled up for a mid-range jumper and cut the lead to one, but the Lumberjacks failed to cover the inbound pass and time ran out before Redding Adventist could get back to foul and stop the clock.
The Lumberjacks' 6-foot-1 center Margo Moore proved to be a worthy foil for Maxwell's McKinley. Moore held McKinley to nine points and six rebounds, well-below her season averages, while scoring 12 points, grabbing 17 rebounds and blocking seven shots.
McKinley made up for her lack of production in the box score by freeing space for Powell under the basket.
Powell scored 10 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and she also got Moore into foul trouble. Moore picked up her fourth foul in the third quarter and had to soften her defense the rest of the way.
Azevedo scored 17 points, and made up for the extended absences of Otterson and guard Shelen Boyes, who fouled out late in the fourth quarter.
"It's a different dimension when you lose your best defensive player (Boyes) and at the end you lose Jessie. We knew we were in foul trouble but that's part of the game. Lucely (Ocampo) came off the bench did a great job and so did Brittney (Haywood)," LaGrande said.
Otterson went down with an ankle injury a minute into the game and didn't return until the final seconds of the first quarter. Though she fouled out with two minutes remaining in overtime, Otterson finished the game with nine points, seven steals and six rebounds.
CONTACT Kirk Barron at 458-2121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.