DANVILLE — Going into its daytime regional contest against Western Boone, the Tri-West girls’ basketball team knew it would be underdogs, having lost by 12 points in an earlier Sagamore Conferece game.
The Bruins pushed the Stars to their breaking point, but ultimately Tri-West fell 66-62 in a three-overtime thriller at Danville Community High School on Saturday.
The two squads were never separated by more than five points in a contest filled with plays that could have swung the decision to either team. But Western Boone finally claimed the last lead change when BayLee Mitchell hit a rebound put-back, giving the Stars a 63-62 lead with 1:20 remaining in the third overtime.
Stars forward Nicole Chance tacked on a pair of free throws with 14.9 seconds to increase the margin to three points, 65-62. Tri-West came out of its timeout looking for a 3-pointer to tie, but Karen Jones missed the attempt and Lexi Jobe was unable to save the rebound from going out of bounds.
Tired, disappointed, and proud of his team, Tri-West coach Brad Acton admitted even he enjoyed the dramatic ebb and flow the game delivered.
“Our kids played their hearts out, no regrets,” Acton said. “We knew Western Boone was an excellent team coming in. It is disappointing, but a bounce or two here or there, and (the win) could have gone the other way. We told our underclassmen to remember this game to make themselves better.”
Tri-West had its best chance to claim the victory in the second overtime. The Bruins started quick when Marisa Meyer hit a pair of free throws on the first possession, while Claire Johnson followed a WeBo turnover with a trey that put Tri-West up 52-47 for the Bruins’ biggest lead of the day.
But that lead evaporated quickly. Western Boone’s Emily Harrison scored on a drive to the basket, while Mitchell converted a rebound basket and free throw that also fouled Meyer out of the contest to tie the teams once more.