Seeking their first regular season district win in three seasons, the Bath County LadyCats scratched and clawed their way to 56-52 overtime victory over the Fleming County Lady Panthers on Tuesday night. Closing the first half on a three-pointer at the buzzer, by senior Paige Faudere, the LadyCats trailed 26-23. The third quarter was a low scoring, defensive struggle with Fleming taking a 10-8 advantage and extending their lead to five points entering the 4th quarter.
During the break, Coach Newton spoke with his troops and asked his team if they were ready to “go for it”, meaning to throw on their 1-2-1-1 full court press. The team responded emphatically “yes”. When they broke the huddle, the team came out with renewed energy and fire on defense. After a layup from Abby Henderson, Paige Faudere stole the ball and found McKenna Moore for a three pointer cutting the lead to two. Bath County erased the Lady Panther lead and tied the score at 36 within less than 40 seconds. Juniors McKenna Moore and Abigail Henderson, who had been held scoreless in the fist half, carried the scoring load in the fourth period with 13 of the 15 fourth quarter points for Bath County.
Trailing 46-43 with only 8.9 seconds remaining in the game, Fleming County had the ball out of bounds at mid-court. The Bath County coaching staff debated whether to foul before Fleming could get a shot at a game-tying three pointer or to try and play good defense and force a turnover or contested shot. Choosing the latter, Fleming in bounded the ball to Sidney Argo, who lost control of it momentarily and found herself trapped on the right side of the court beyond the three point line. Regaining control, she managed to slip a pass out of the trap in the corner to freshman, Caroline Price, who made a game-tying three with 4 seconds remaining. Bath County called timeout and drew up a play, which found McKenna Moore, for a good look from mid-court that hit the front of the rim, but fell off, sending the game to overtime.
In overtime, Morgan McNabb seemed to take over for the LadyCats. Driving to the basket with tremendous confidence, McNabb scored two baskets, dished out 2 assists, and went 2 for 2 at the foul line, scoring 6 of the LadyCats 10 points to seal the win. Abigail Henderson scored a field goal and McKenna Moore added two free throws. Moore finished with a game-high 18 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Paige Faudere followed with 14 points and 5 steals. Fellow senior Kelsey Roberson, added 8 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots. McNabb and Henderson rounded out the scoring with 8 points apiece.
With the victory, Bath County moves into a tie for third place in the 61st District standings with Fleming County. The Lady Panthers have one game remaining on Feb. 9 with Rowan County. If Fleming is not able to defeat the Lady Vikings, the tournament seeding will come down to a coin toss to determine who will play Rowan and who will play Menifee. With the win, Bath County equals their win total from a year ago and still has 5 games remaining in the regular season. After a 0-10 start, the LadyCats are 7-7 in their last 14 ball games. Next up for the LadyCats is a home contest on Friday night with West Carter.