By JASON EPP
Leader & Times
Jade Cathcart stepped to the free throw line with two seconds left, and with Hooker trailing by two points. And despite the Lady Bulldogs missing 16 free throws on the night, Cathcart sank the two that mattered most to send the game to overtime, where Hooker won over Laverne, 49-43.
"We didn't make many free throws, but we made the most crucial ones," Lady Bulldogs coach Ray Kennedy said.
Early in the game it looked as though Laverne might run away with the game, thanks in part to their outside shooting. Laverne made five three-pointers in the first half, and built a 20-12 lead in the first quarter.
The Lady Tigers led by as many as 16.
"We were out pressuring them too hard and they were penetrating and kicking out to the three," Kennedy said.
Hooker changed the way they guarded Laverne, and did not allow the Lady Tigers to score double figures in any quarter the rest of the game.
"We finally figured out how we needed to guard them," Kennedy said. "We backed off a little bit to cut off the dribble penetration which limited their outside shooting as well. Our defense got better throughout the game."
Hooker still trailed at the half 28-19, and 34-24 at the end of the third.
Hooker outscored Laverne 16-6 in the fourth quarter to force the extra period. The Lady Bulldogs controlled the overtime, 11-5 to win the game.
"We came out flat," Kennedy said. "But in the second half we showed a lot of character to get that turned around."
Mariana Cervantes led the Lady Bulldogs with 17 points. Dana Jiminez scored 15, including a crucial three-point basket in the fourth quarter rally and in overtime.
Jade Cathcart scored 9, and Shania Miller added 6.
Hooker (11-4) will host Beaver Tuesday.