WEST ALEXANDRIA — Twin Valley South’s girls’ basketball team picked up two big wins this past week.
On Tuesday, Jan. 15, the Panthers earned a double-overtime win against Middletown Christian, 45-41, despite its top two scorers battling foul trouble.
“We held a small lead throughout the game but never pulled away,” South coach Lindsey Cole said. “With our two leading scorers, Mackenzie Neal and Taylor Bowers, in big foul trouble, we had to play smart to keep them in the game. They each had four fouls from the fourth quarter all the way through the end of the second overtime when Neal fouled out. Having them stay in the game was huge for us”
Cole said Neal was huge on the boards with 14 rebounds on the night to go with her 12 points.
Bowers went 7-of-11 and finished with 15 points.
Down in the first overtime, Bowers hit two big free throws.
Middletown Christian got to the line and made one free throw, putting them up by three.
With nine seconds left, Madison Johnson had a clutch 3-pointer to tie it up and force the game into the second overtime.
In the second overtime, Taylor Clark hit two shots and had four huge points to help secure a lead for the Panthers.
“That was a huge win for us, keeping our composure when things got tough. We had not been in a situation like this all year,” Cole said. “It was a great team effort.”
On Thursday, at Mississinawa Valley, South was down 19-6 at the end of the first quarter but was able to battle back for a 38-35 win.
“We came out with several turnovers and defensive let downs,” Cole said. “We knew that we were a better team than what we showed in that quarter. This was a game that we had circled and we couldn’t let it slip away.”
South pulled within ten points at half but still trailed by 14 late in the third.
The Panthers then went on a 20-3 run to end the game.
“The momentum shifted in a huge way and our girls believed that they could come back,” Cole said. “The defensive intensity really drove our offense. “
Johnson had a monster defensive game with 15 steals, a new school record.
“Our last five points of the game came from Johnson, who hit another big three for us and then took a long defensive rebound down for a layup,” Cole said.
Bowers led the team in scoring with 13, Johnson had 11, and Neal had 8 points and 11 rebounds.
“I am so proud of this team for never giving up. We kept fighting all the way to the last whistle and it paid off,” Cole said. “We have grown as a team and have started to truly believe in ourselves.”
South(7-8, 2-6 CCC) was scheduled to host Dayton Dunbar on Tuesday, Jan. 22 and Newton on Thursday, Jan. 24. The Panthers will close out the week with a trip to Preble Shawnee on Saturday..