by Brad Stacy
In what was a back and forth game until the finish on Friday night, Rowan County slipped by Bath County in overtime, 50-48.
“We had control through most of the game,” said Rowan Coach Elaine Douglas. “I was really happy with the way we played defense.”
Rowan County held a 22-21 advantage at the half.
“Our girls played great defense on her,” said Douglas. “They did a really good job keeping the ball from her. We worked on it all week and we knew we had to contain her. Holding her in the first half was very beneficial.”
Junior guard Hannah Bandura led the way for the Vikings with 12 points.
“We got most of our offense from down low,” she said. “Hannah (Bandura) came up big for us.”
When Viking forward Sarah Purdy fouled out late in the game, Douglas looked to junior Summer Oakley to pick up the slack.
“We had another night with even scoring,” she said. “Summer (Oakley) stepped in and scored six big points and had a bunch of key plays.”
Senior Torri Mitchell also added 11 points.
The score was even at 40 at the end of regulation.
“As long as we have that even scoring and we can get something from the bench we can be successful,” she said. “We also hit 71 percent from the free-throw line which was big down the stretch.”
Up 50-48 with just seven seconds left, Bath County looked for a jumper to tie up the ball game.
Bandura would have none of it as she blocked the shot at the buzzer.
“We were able to make a few defensive stops,” she said. “It was back and forth in the overtime period and we made the stops we needed to and score on the other end.”
With the win, Rowan County locks itself into the third seed in the 61st District Tournament and will face a rematch with Bath County.
“We are still going to have our hands full,” Douglas said. “But, this game proves we are getting better and we can survive. My group is used to playing these types of games and are mentally tough in the final minutes. They are learning to play through that adversity.”