DENMARK - Denmark-Olar senior guard Je’Nayah Moore dribbled away from the Carvers Bay defense hoping to find an opening with only seconds left and her team trailing by two,
With fans on their feet and the game on the line, Moore hoisted a long 3-point shot just as the final horn sounded. The shot failed to meet the mark and Carvers Bay fans rushed the court to congratulate the Lady Bears on a thrilling 67-65 overtime victory.
Denmark-Olar (13-5) struggled early on to find their shooting touch. With Ta’Asia Wright scoring D-O’s only points of the quarter, the Lady Vikings found themselves down 9-3 after a sloppy first quarter.
“That’s our key all year,” Carvers Bay head coach Isaiah Tucker said. “The press we call our 1-2-2 press, that’s why they did the things they did. We don’t shoot that well. We don’t shoot free throws that well. We play defense and hope to get some easy baskets.
Like Wright, Desaree Green scored all nine of her team’s first quarter points. Her contributions continued to be critical to the success of the team throughout the night. On her way to finishing with 21 points, she and Quantaisha Robinson finished the half with 20 of the Lady Bears’ 25 first half points as Carvers Bay took a 25-14 lead into the half.
“We were very confident,” Green said. “We’ve never did this before. To say we’re from the bottom coming up, it was huge.”
After allowing Carvers Bay (12-10) to score the first two baskets of the second half, Denmark-Olar found their backs against the wall. Trailing by as many as 14, Wright took it upon herself to attack the basket against the tough Carvers Bay defense. Wright finished the third quarter scoring 12 of her game-high 27 points helping Denmark-Olar cut the lead to 40-37 with one quarter left to play.
Both teams would trade baskets for just over two minutes of game time before Denmark-Olar made their run. The 8-0 spurt included a layup by Wright with 5:22 to go that gave the Lady Vikings their first lead. Eventually, D-O would take a 53-48 lead with 3:03 to go, but Carvers Bay wasn’t going to fold. Green’s physical play down low again proved to be problematic for D-O as she scored her team’s final eight points to put Carvers Bay up 55-53 with 11 seconds to go.
“That’s our beast,” Tucker said. “She’s a sophomore. She’s our defense, our offense and our leader. She’s everything to the team.”
With time against them, D-O needed to find a way to tie the game or their season was over. Luckily for them, the ball was in the right player’s hand as Wright was sent to the line after being fouled with no time left on the clock ending a premature celebration by the Carvers Bay players and fans. The celebration would have to wait at least another five minutes as Wright sank two clutch free throws.
Knowing D-O had new life, Carvers Bay knew what they had to do. The Lady Bears, unfazed by the dramatic comeback, opened overtime with a 9-0 run led by Zaria Blain.
“She wasn’t hitting anything all night,” Tucker said, “but that’s what she does. She hits threes for us. Once she hit that first three, I knew it was on then. Then, she hit a couple of 2-pointers. It was a good game for her.”
The Lady Vikings continued to fight with Wright and Tyneka Sanders leading the charge. The duo spurred a 6-0 run in the final 1:04 seconds before falling short.
Carvers Bay has now knocked two top seeds in the Class 1-A girls bracket and they’re looking to keep their season alive when they take on Timmonsville. The Lady Bears know their matchup with Timmonsville won’t be easy, but they’re looking forward to the challenge.
“We’ve got to play as a team,” Green said when asked about the keys to their next game. “We’ve got to play hard and play smart.”
CB (67) - Desaree Green 23, Quantaisha Robinson 13, Anastashia Bromell 12, Zaria Blain 10, Cobb 7, Eaddy 2
D-O (65) – Ta’Asia Wright 27, Tyneka Sanders 13, Jessica Davis 12, Moore 8, C. Davis 5