Siloam girls escape Lady Hornets in overtime

SILOAM SPRINGS — Senior Emily Ridgell scored a career-high 31 points including two free throws with :27.5 left in regulation to tie the game then all 4 of the Bryant Lady Hornets’ points in overtime.

But the Siloam Springs Lady Panthers overcame that big night and big comeback by Bryant in the fourth quarter, winning 54-51. The victory wasn’t secure until, with :01.8 left in the extra period, Raija Todd, as she was trying to get in position for a potential game-tying 3, was cited for a traveling violation that stood despite protests from the small contingent of Bryant fans who made the long trip as well as Todd and head coach Brad Matthews.

It made for a wrenching outcome for the Lady Hornets who suffered their fourth loss in a row. They’ll try to get back on track Tuesday when they host Alma in a make-up game, scheduled after ice and snow prevented their game on Friday, Jan. 22.

The Lady Hornets stayed close to the Lady Panthers in the first half. A Siloam Springs surge in the third stanza, however, produced a 35-24 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Bryants’ comeback began when Ridgell made a steal and Todd drove for a layup. Raven Loveless swiped the ball and would up at the free-throw line where she converted twice, trimming it to 35-28.

Despite a timeout by Siloam Springs, the Lady Hornets got closer thanks to Ridgell’s two free throws. The Lady Panthers’ Morgan Vaughn finally added her team’s first points of the final period, connected on a pair of free throws with 5:39 left to play.

Siloam build the lead back to 8 as late as the 3:23 mark. Ridgell sparked the resumption of the Bryant rally by drilling her fifth 3-pointer.

Rachael Miller added on a free throw then Ridgell made another steal and cashed in at the free-throw line to trim the margin to 44-42 with 2:28 left.

Hadlee Hollenbeck hit a layup for the Lady Panthers. After a timeout, Todd pumped in a 3 to make it 46-45 with 1:53 to go.

Alexis Duffy countered with a free throw and it stayed 47-45 from that point (1:32 left) until, with :25.1 showing, Ridgell converted the tying free throws.

Both teams had chances to gain the upper hand in the four-minute overtime but it didn’t happen until the 2:30 mark when Vaughn knocked down a 3.

Ridgell drove into the lane and hit a pull-up jumper but Duffy converted two free throws to make it a 52-49 lead.

The Lady Hornets missed a 3, which would’ve tied it again then got another chance with Ridgell swiped the ball. She drove for a basket to cut it to 52-51 and Bryant head coach Brad Matthews called a timeout with :31.6 left.

At :23.9, Duffy was fouled again. She converted both to make it a 3-point game again. The  Lady Hornets worked the clock down to :07.6 left. Matthews called timeout to try to set something up but his team was unable to get a shot off.

“We didn’t play very well in the first half,” said Matthews said. “We were down 4 at the half and really felt fortunate to be in the game.

“(In the fourth quarter), to find a way to fight back, which is a credit to our kids’ toughness and competitiveness,” he noted. “They could’ve laid down but didn’t. We tied it but we just couldn’t get over the hump.

“There was some positive stuff to build on but it’s late January, we’ve got to start winning some games,” the coach concluded. “I’ve got to do a better job of drilling them, making them understand what execution is and that we do execute.”

Initially, the Lady Hornets fell behind 9-2. A 3 by Ridgell and her bucket off a drive cut it to 9-7. But Siloam’s Abby Cox nailed a triple to make it 12-7 going onto the second quarter.

The lead eventually reached 7, 17-10, with 4:50 left in the half. With Riedgell feeding Loveless for a basket then hitting a 3, kept it close. Hollenbeck and Todd traded baskets and it was 21-17 at the half.

Ridgell opened the third quarter with a 3, cutting the lead to 1 but Siloam Springs then surged to a double-digit lead 30-20. Todd’s baseline jumper narrowed the gap but Cox answered inside and Hollenbeck converted twice at the line to make it an 11-point game, setting up the fourth-quarter tussle.


Score by quarters

BRYANT                7     10     7     23     4 — 51

Siloam Springs.    12.    9.    14.    12.    7 — 54

LADY HORNETS (6-11, 1-5, 1-2) 51

Todd 4-18 2-2 11, Ridgell 9-20 8-8 31, Martin 0-1 0-0 0, Rogers 1-3 0-2 2, Miller 1-1 1-2 3, Loveless 1-3 2-2 4, Patton 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 16-48 (33%) 13-16 (81%) 51

LADY PANTHERS (10-9, 3-3, 1-2) 54

Duffy 0-1 5-7 5, Cox 3-8 6-6 13, Vaughn 6-11 2-2 17, Stewart 0-5 5-8 5, Hollenbeck 3-7 3-4 9, Henry 1-3 0-0 2, Sharp 1-1 0-0 3, Hufford 0-0 0-0 0, Loftis-Williams 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 14-36 (38%) 21-27 (78%) 54.

Three-point field goals: Bryant 6-21 (Ridgell 5-10, Todd 1-9, Patton 0-2), Siloam Springs 5-14 (Vaughn 3-6, Cox 1-4, Sharp 1-1, Stewart 0-2, Henry 0-1). Turnovers: Bryant 12, Siloam Springs 15. Rebounds: Bryant 8-20 28 (Todd 3-4 7, Ridgell 0-6 6, Miller 0-5 5, Loveless 2-2 4, Martin 1-1 2, Rogers 2-0 2, team 0-2 2), Siloam Springs 8-24 32 (Stewart 1-5 6, Hollenbeck 2-4 6, Vaughn 2-3 5, Duffy 1-4 5, Sharp 0-3 3, Henry 0-1 1, team 2-4 6). Team fouls: Bryant 16, Siloam Springs 14.

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