While the calender still says January, it was almost like 'March Madness' Thursday night at Cisne, in the consolation bracket girls basketball game between West Richland/Clay City and Cisne, in the 2012 Midland Trail Conference Tournament, at Cisne.
The Lady Wildcats and Lady Lions battled it out end-line to end-line, tooth and nail, back and forth, and in the end needed an overtime to decide the final outcome. Finally, after 36 minutes, WR/CC came out on top 45-39.
“What a win,” said Lady Wildcats Varsity Coach Mark Weiler. “We lost to them by four (points) on our court (Nov. 28). Didn't play very well in our second game of the year. We came down here with a little bit of a game-plan and for the most part stuck to it. And a win is a win.”
Now, the Lady Wildcats play Webber Township for the consolation bracket championship, at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, at Cisne. WR/CC is 5-8 on the season, while Webber Township is 5-10, including a win over the Lady Cats on Dec. 5
“We lost to them (Webber Township) at their place in a game we felt we should have won,” Weiler said. “We didn't execute or play very well down there. It's another chance so to speak.”
Along with the intensity on the court between the teams, there was also some tense moments due to injuries. In the fourth quarter, Cisne's Brandae Gill, in a scramble for the ball, hit the floor hard. She was treated by EMT's and taken off the court on a stretcher and transported to the hospital.
“First and foremost our thought are with the Gill girl,” Weiler said. “We pray that everything is going well with her, and for her family. It's an unfortunate thing.”
Later, to open the overtime, after WR/CC won the OT tip, Amber Drewes drove in for a bucket, and was fouled. The Lady Cat freshman hit the floor, injuring her knee. After a few minutes, she was helped off the floor. Drewes was coming off an injury to the other knee.
“She's just recovering from a bruised meniscus and we just got her back this week,” Weiler said. “She's a girl who goes hard and plays hard, it's just unfortunate.”
Drewes score broke the 35-35 tie that forced overtime, and put WR/CC up 37-35. Two bonus free-throws by Whittney Reynolds followed, and the Lady Cats led 39-35 at 3:10 of the OT. Then, Kayelee Royse intercepted a Cisne pass in the backcourt and took it in for two, and WR/CC led 41-35 at 3:05.
WR/CC spread the floor and drew the foul, and Katie Royse hit 1-of-2 foul shots, giving the Lady Cats a 42-35 lead.
But Cisne crawled back into it via free-throws. Shae Bullard and and Katelyn Maloy combined to for four straight points on free-throws, making it a three-point game, with one minute to play.
However, in an attempt to get the ball back, Cisne was forced to foul.
Putting the Lady Cats at the line, Katie Royse pushed WR/CC's margin to 44-39 with two free-throws at the 30 second mark. Then, with just eight second left, Taylor set the final score and outcome, hitting 1-of-2 free-throws.
Hitting 4-of-7 free-throws and five shots from the floor, Taylor led West Richland/Clay City with 14 points.
Hali Paul led Cisne with 14 points, while Chynna Byers was also in double-figures with 10 points, before fouling out of the game at 3:03 of the fourth quarter.