It took three different times for MICDS to come from behind before they could beat Sullivan.
The Lady Rams (24-4) did just that, overcoming the Sullivan lead in regulation, overtime and a second overtime of the sectional round of Class 4 girls basketball before Jordyn Brooks’ buzzer beater gave MICDS a 70-68 win.
By virtue of the win, MICDS advances to Saturday’s state quarterfinal round at Washington, where they will play the defending state champions, Incarnate Word (24-5), at 1 p.m.
Sullivan Head Coach Jason Merkel credited his team’s execution and character in the sectional round after previously losing a home game to MICDS by 20 points earlier in the season.
“We just did not put this game away when we had the opportunity and its frustrating just to let it go,” Merkel said. “This team’s got to break up now because of just not putting enough possessions together, but at the end of the day we’re proud of them.”
Even in defeat, Sullivan had plenty of heroics in the contest.
Despite fouling out it the first overtime period, Clare Shetley led Sullivan with 18 points.
Kathleen Creek scored a career high 17 points in the contest for the Lady Eagles after making five three-point shots in the first half.
Bria Jones finished with 15 points.
Mallory Shetley added 14 points, eight of which came in the two overtimes.
Kya Harbour rounded out the Sullivan scoresheet with four points, two of which tied the game in the second overtime.
“That’s just the resolve and the character of those kids,” Merkel said of his team’s effort. “They just really stepped up and played well for us. We could have easily just rolled over, especially after they hit their first two threes and got up 6-0 in the first two possessions and we just came right back and answered them shot for shot and built a lead.”
MICDS’s leading scorer on the night was Lindsay Parks with 24 points.
Brooks finished the night with 20 points.
Kayla Work added 15 points for the Lady Rams.
Other scorers included Jessica Brooks with six points and Landys Hughes with five points.
After the Lady Rams came out of the gates shooting the lights out, they held a 20-15 lead at the end of the first quarter.
However, Creek put through four of her three-pointers in the second quarter as the Lady Eagles surged to a 34-25 halftime lead.
In the second half, the Sullivan offense shifted more to the inside game as Clare Shetley scored eight of the team’s third quarter points in the paint.
The Lady Eagles led 44-36 at the end of the third period.
MICDS came back to take a 51-50 lead with 2:45 to play.
“They hit some big shots and we did not get a couple of key rebounds,” Merkel said. “We missed some free throws down the stretch, but it was working. Everything was working for us. That’s what’s frustrating. It just feels like we let this one off the hook, so to speak. We lost to a good team. We just feel like we put together the game plan to take care of it and we just did not get enough stops.”
After the Lady Rams added another basket to push the lead to three, Sullivan got back-to-back twos from Mallory Shetley and Clare Shetley to go back up 54-53.
A two for Creek preceded a quick three on the other end from Parks to tie it at 56 with little more than 30 seconds left.
That’s the way the score stayed at regulation, despite attempts on both ends to break the tie.
Sullivan came closest to ending it in regulation after an in-bounds pass with 1.8 seconds left was deflected in the direction of Clare Shetley under the basket, but a desperation off-balance thrust shot underhanded at the buzzer didn’t go.
Clare Shetley put through the first two points in overtime before fouling out.
After MICDS tied it, Mallory Shetley took over with another two-point basket to again give the Lady Eagles a slight lead.
However, in a precursor of things to come, Jordyn Brooks put through a two in the final seconds to again tie the score at 60.
Jones was able to fire off a shot from halfcourt at the buzzer that didn’t find the mark.
In the second overtime, Mallory Shetley picked back up where the Lady Eagles had left off inside with a pair of baskets and then drew a foul to put through two more. She accounted for each of the team’s first six points in the second overtime period, pushing Sullivan out to a 66-62 lead.
However, a pair of stolen in-bounds passes under the MICDS basket allowed the Lady Rams to get four points in a row from Parks to tie the game back at 66.
Two more points for Parks then gave MICDS a 68-66 advantage with 30 seconds remaining in the period.
Back on the Sullivan end, Harbour drew a foul and went to the line with less than 20 seconds left and knocked down both free throws to retie the score at 68.
Jordyn Brooks then sunk the final dagger off a runner in the lane at the buzzer to extend the MICDS season and send Sullivan home from the sectional round with a loss for a second year in a row.