What a fight back it was! The Red Lodge Rams down 35-26 coming into the final quarter of the 4B Girls District Final against the Shepherd Fillies found the strength and will power to tie up the game at the final buzzer 41-41, sending the encounter into overtime. It was an amazing finale to the tournament. Every time the Rams descended on the Fillies net, the roar from the crowd almost brought the Red Lodge gym down around our feet.
The Rams knew what they had to do coming into the 4th quarter. They’d lost the first three 13-9, 10-8, 12-9. Almost immediately Natalie Hilderman netted a three pointer for the Rams. Stephanie Kreamer drew a two -point foul but failed to net but this didn’t deter her, as Rylee Kane made a sudden penetrating run into the Fillies territory and laid it up for Kreamer to get two. Suddenly the game was open at 35-31.
The Fillies tried to eat up the seconds and almost paid for it when Isabella Martin got the ball and broke free but just failed to grab two points.
The pressure was beginning to tell on Shepherd and soon Kane was darting between the Fillies to score two baskets in 90 seconds.
Kreamer came in to tie it up before the Fillies got a point from a free throw.
The agony was highlighted when Martin clutched a loose ball only to watch her shot skim the rims. Shepherd came back with a free throw, up by one point with 22 seconds left of normal time.
Another Red Lodge shot danced along the rim but with five seconds left the Rams got their point back. Tonya Murray of Shepherd could have sent the Rams to an early shower but missed with literal no time left on the clock.
In overtime, with two Shepherds down on the court, a long throw found Martin under the net but she let the ball slip through her hands.
Back came Shepherd for two after Red Lodge lost possession and the Fillies started playing a holding game, passing it back and forth, eating up the seconds like a ravenous shark. They drew a free throw and were three up. Then picking up a perfect pass, Martin tried for a three pointer but the ball wouldn’t cooperate.
Within seconds and amid a blur of action Hilderman had the ball back and three points in the bag. Tied up again.
What a time to do it! The crowd went wild!
Shepherd reeling from the attack, shook away the fear and swooped down the court for two with 14 seconds left.
The atmosphere was electric, and the power surge from the Rams fans grew louder as Purcell found herself in a position to pull back the score only to see her shot swirl inside the basket for what seemed minutes and then pop out.
Two further free throws for Shepherd secured the victory for them at 48-44.