By Russ Green-Sports Editor
Orrick coach Mitch Comstock said his four Lady Bearcat seniors deserved a better end to their high school careers. The four seniors, who teamed up for a 72-36 record with a district and an I-70 Conference championship in their four years, saw it come to an end Tuesday night with a crushing 65-59 overtime loss to North Andrew in the Class 1 sectional at Liberty North.
After controlling the first two quarters, Orrick saw North Andrew stage a furious second-half rally – force overtime with a 3-pointer at the buzzer and dominate the extra playing time to advance to Saturday’s quarterfinals at Bishop LeBlond in St. Joseph against Mercer.
“I told the girls they didn’t deserve this loss, especially the way they did,” Comstock said. “They played 36 minutes of the hardest basketball they could. It didn’t go their way. The girl hit the shot. They didn’t deserve to lose that way, but it’s sports and that’s what happens sometimes.”
Madison Winters closed out her outstanding career as a Lady Bearcat with a game-high 20 points and 10 rebounds. Winters scored 1,548 points, while grabbing 582 rebounds in her four seasons as a Lady Bearcat.
North Andrew (27-2) spent the entire second half playing catch up after Orrick (23-6) dominated the first half. The Cardinals did not get their first lead of the game until Kensey Edwards hit a free throw to begin overtime. The Lady Bearcats spent the entire fourth quarter fending off North Andrew. The Lady Cardinals finally caught Orrick at the buzzer.
A missed free throw on the front end of a one-and-one situation by Orrick with 4.9 seconds remaining gave North Andrew, trailing by 3, its final chance. After grabbing the rebound, the Lady Cardinals rushed the ball down court and found forward Brinsley Oliver open on the right side. The senior pulled the trigger and hit nothing but net as the buzzer sounded to tie the game at 52-52 and force overtime. It was her only 3-pointer of the night.
Once overtime began, the Lady Cardinals took control by scoring the first 7 points. Orrick would get no closer than 4 points in the extra session.