ANNAPOLIS, Mo. – The Central girls basketball team battled through an overtime bout against an unbeaten South Iron and prevailed 46-40 for its seventh consecutive win on Thursday night.
The Lady Rebels (9-1) surrendered one point during the extra period as they did an exceptional job of defending without fouling.
Skyler Amonette, who recorded 15 points and six rebounds, finished a fast-break layup with a foul to put Central up 43-39 with 1:45 remaining.
The junior guard had a chance to end the game in regulation with a hurried 3-pointer off an inbound pass, but the ball rattled around the rim and fell out.
Caitlyn Holmes sank three clinching free throws in the final two minutes of overtime. She scored 12 points and grabbed six of her 10 rebounds in the fourth quarter for her second straight double-double.
South Iron freshman Jada Brooks dominated the boards all night, pulling in a game-high 13 rebounds along with 11 points.
Junior Ashley Mickan had a team-high 15 points for the Lady Panthers, scoring all of her baskets in the paint.
South Iron (8-1) is the No. 2 seed in the Central Christmas Tournament, which begins on Monday, while Central is seeded third. The teams could meet once again in the semifinal round.
Central had trouble making open jump shots all night, and relied heavily on free throws to keep the slow-paced game close.
The first quarter concluded with the Lady Rebels leading 5-4 following a 3-pointer by senior Peyton Bradley.
South Iron dictated the second quarter by scoring often in transition and keeping Central from getting the ball into the post. The Lady Panthers ended every fast break with either a layup or foul shots.
The Lady Rebels closed out the second quarter with two successful trips to the line, narrowing the South Iron halftime lead to 20-17.
Excessive fouling by the Lady Rebels put South Iron into the bonus situation with six minutes to play in the fourth quarter.
But full-court pressure was enforced by Central late in the game with rewarding results.
Amonette went down with an apparent leg injury and had to be assisted off the floor after scoring a layup with 4:30 to play in regulation, but returned less than three minutes later.
Central took a 39-38 lead on a 3-point shot by senior BreAnna Seaton with 53 seconds left in the fourth after trailing for nearly the entire game.
Brooks tied it for South Iron on the following possession by making one of two free throws.