Early into the third quarter on Tuesday night, it looked like there was more of a possibility of there being a six-minute fourth quarter due to a 30-point lead rather than Calhoun getting back in the game and having a chance to win it in their subregion contest at home against Adairsville. But the point was once again proven that basketball can be about as unpredictable as any sport.
The Lady Jackets faced a 41-19 deficit close to the midway point of the third quarter as Adairsville had controlled the game pretty much throughout. That’s when everything changed, however. Calhoun didn’t quit, created a frantic pace with their press to force several turnovers and proceeded to go on a 25-2 run to take a lead early in the fourth. They then battled back and forth before eventually pulling out the incredible comeback 63-61 win on a buzzer-beating shot in overtime.
Calhoun (9-8, 3-1 subregion) had the ball with the clock ticking down in overtime and the game tied. They ran a play to perfection to find Lyndi Rae Davis on the left side of the lane near the basket, and the freshman banked in the game-winner with a little more than three seconds to play. Adairsville got the ball inbounded but was unable to get a shot off as the buzzer sounded, and the Lady Jackets completed one of the most exciting and furious comeback wins you will ever see.
Calhoun trailed 34-19 at the half, and Adairsville (3-17, 0-4 subregion) pushed the lead to 41-19 to start the third quarter, but the Lady Jackets started to crank up the pace with their press. Erin Davis, Erin Kelly, Anna George and Ashlyn Brzozoski all contributed huge buckets during the run that eventually put Calhoun in the lead at 44-43 early in the fourth quarter. They then built as much as a five-point lead at 56-51 with less than two minutes to play in regulation, but Adairsville came back to take a 57-56 lead late in the quarter. George hit a free throw with 8.3 seconds left, and Adairsville came up empty on a two-shot trip to the line with less than a second left to send the game to the extra session.
“I don’t even know what to say…that was incredible,” said Calhoun coach Kayla Ralston after the win. “At halftime, I just told the girls we had to get after it on defense and try to find a way to start putting the ball in the hole to get back in the game. That’s what we did, and that started the great comeback in the third. We definitely got the momentum there, and our girls made the plays to finish it off and win it in overtime. We got some huge contributions off the bench from Erin (Kelly) and Emily (Sorrow), and Erin Davis, Ashlyn (Brzozoski) and Anna (George) made some big shots. I’m just proud of our team for not quitting tonight. It didn’t look very good when we were down but 20-plus points in the third, but our girls didn’t stop fighting and found a way to win.”
Erin Davis led the scoring for Calhoun with 17 points, including 13 in the third and fourth quarters, many coming off steals during the game-changing run. Brzozoski scored 16 with 11 of those coming in the fourth quarter and overtime, and George added 14 points. Kelly added six points off the bench.
During the overtime period, the two teams traded two baskets apiece with Sorrow and Brzozoski making shots for Calhoun while Corianna McDaniel and Nakiyah Washington scored a bucket apiece for Adairsville. That set up Calhoun with the ball and around 30 seconds to play before they ran most of the time off the clock and set up Lyndi Rae Davis for the game-winner.
“We definitely wanted the last shot so it wouldn’t leave any time on the clock for (Adairsville) so they could get one,” said Ralston. “And we ran our go-to play. I knew they would probably double off on Erin (Davis) and she would be able to get the ball to either Ashlyn or Lyndi Rae. She did, and we got the outcome we wanted out of it with Lyndi Rae hitting the shot.”
The clutch points were the only two of the game for Lyndi Rae Davis as she stepped up in the huge moment when her team needed her to.
Calhoun led 15-10 late in the first quarter before Adairsville jumped ahead on a huge 18-0 run that spanned the end of the first and half of the second quarter. The Lady Tigers eventually led 34-19 at the half after outscoring Calhoun 11-4 in the second quarter.
Washington had a game-high 21 for Adairsville, and fellow post Josie Summerville added 17 before fouling out midway through the fourth quarter. Havyn Isaac scored nine, and McDaniel contributed eight.
Ralston said this comeback win is another measure of how far her team has come this season and will hopefully give them a lot of momentum heading down the stretch.
“It was great to see,” said Ralston. “We’re very young, but we’ve improved a little at a time throughout the season and that showed tonight by us never giving up. We knew it was going to be tough against Adairsville, but we had to find a way to do it even when we were down big in the second half. The girls did it, and I’m proud of them. I think this is a big win for us going into the final few games. I think we can build on it and finish the regular season strong.”
Calhoun is back at home on Friday to host Murray County at 7 p.m. in a region crossover game.