PRAIRIE GROVE -- There was no fooling around in overtime after Prairie Grove came from behind three times in the fourth quarter to force an extra session.
The Lady Tigers prevailed, 58-50, in overtime against Lincoln Friday, but their 16-game winning streak in the rivalry was in serious jeopardy down the stretch. Lincoln's last win was by a 52-32 margin in 2006. Prairie Grove coach Kevin Froud said he doesn't pay that much attention to the streak although he noted it's the only one that hasn't been broken by conference opponents in 4A-1 play in the last two seasons.
"The streak's going to come to an end someday, I really don't think about that," Froud said. "We've got to play and do the things we need to do."
First year Lincoln coach Emilianne Slamons noted Prairie Grove led throughout in the Lady Tigers' 43-33 win on Jan. 5 at Lincoln. She was excited when the Lady Wolves jumped ahead out of the gate and is hoping for a rematch in the district tournament, which Lincoln hosts next week.
"It's hard to beat a team three times," Slamons said. "This is the first overtime I've ever had as head coach (at Lincoln). We played to the best of our abilities. We had two starters foul out, Robin Kirk and Tristan Cunningham, that are big time contributors for us. So we had to play the last part of overtime without them, but I don't have any negative complaints about the way they played."
Lincoln was the more physical team early. The Lady Wolves took a 6-0 lead with 3:30 elapsed in the first quarter on Cunningham's 3-pointer after she banged her way to an offensive rebound. She knocked down another trey from a wide-open look and Madison Jones nailed a free-throw-line jumper on a press-breaker for an 11-2 Lincoln lead. Kaylee Elder answered with a 3-pointer to narrow Lincoln's advantage to 11-5 after one period of play. Kirk's blocked shot led to Jones' trifecta that opened up a 10-point Lincoln lead of 17-7.
Tania Ortiz capitalized on a solid screen getting to the baseline for a short jumper and the lead was 12. Aniyah Gibbs hit free throws for Prairie Grove before Jessica Goldman took a cross-court pass and sank a 3-pointer. On the ensuing Prairie Grove possession, Goldman stole the ball on the defensive end then brought it up. She hesitated briefly on the perimeter and when no one came out on her, drove for an uncontested layup giving Lincoln its largest lead of 24-9 midway through the second quarter.
Lady Tiger Run
Prairie Grove rallied with a 12-4 run over the last 3:23 of the first half by creating turnovers with a full-court press. Emily Grant stole an in-bounds pass and fed Jasmine Wynos for a layup. She scored after another Lincoln turnover, then again swiped an in-bounds pass, drew a foul and made both free throws. The teams traded baskets before Jones got a step and exploded to the goal. She was hammered and sank 2-of-2. In the final 31 seconds of the second, Jordan Sugg's steal led to her free throw. Her second attempt was no good, but Doering claimed the rebound which resulted in Stone's drive and finish from the left corner. A Lincoln traveling violation with six seconds to go gave the Lady Tigers a chance to get even closer, but Hollie Webb rejected a shot at the buzzer preserving a 28-21 halftime lead for Lincoln.
A 10-3 start for Prairie Grove in the third quarter enabled the Lady Tigers to even the score, at 31-all, on Grant's coast-to-coast layup. Lincoln scored the last five points of the quarter, all from Goldman. Five seconds after a Goldman bucket, Averi Massey stole the ball back for Lincoln and Goldman calmly sank a 3-pointer over a shorter defender which put Lincoln ahead, 36-31, after three quarters.
Lincoln led by seven points, 38-31, early in the fourth quarter on Cunningham's bucket. Prairie Grove scored the next eight points to capture its first lead keyed by offensive rebounding and two Lincoln turnovers. Grant yanked down an offensive rebound, something Prairie Grove wasn't getting in the first half. She was fouled and made both free throws. Audrey Doering's rebound of a teammate's miss led to Sarah James-Stone's free throws. Grant scored to make the contest a one-point game. Forty-eight seconds later she pushed the ball down the court and found Doering spotted up for a short baseline jumper and the Lady Tigers were in front, 39-38. Another Doering offensive rebound turned into an assist with Larisha Crawford snapping a 3-pointer.
Lincoln used a 5-1 mini run to tie the game on Jones' clutch 3-pointer with 2:31 left in regulation. Then Stone's offensive rebound led to a free throw by Wynos giving Prairie Grove a 44-43 edge. After a time-out Jones stole a Lady Tiger in-bounds pass and the Lady Wolves found Massey cutting for a layup and a 45-44 Lincoln lead at the 1:01 mark. Prairie Grove couldn't score and the alternate possession belonged to Lincoln, but they turned the ball over trying to inbound.
Lexie Madewell got the ball, coming away with a pass intended for Goldman. Lincoln blocked a layup attempt only to have Madewell collar the rebound. After missing the first free throw she composed herself and swished the second tying the contest at 45-all with the clock down to 26.7. Possesson reverted to Prairie Grove when Lincoln traveled, but Massey tipped an in-bounds pass into the backcourt and went in for a layup. She was fouled, yet couldn't convert the 3-point play so Lincoln settled for a 47-45 lead with 12.8 seconds showing.
Gibbs tied the game on an 8-foot baseline jumper with 3 seconds remaining to force overtime.Sports on 02/07/2018
Print Headline: Lincoln Nearly Ends Streak