“Doc” Edwards girls: Airline falls just short in title game

2053

Russell Hedges

rhedges@bossierpress.com

 

The finals of the “Doc” Edwards Memorial Invitational girls’ division looked like it was going to be a blowout early.

The Mansfield Lady Wolverines raced to a 21-5 lead in the second quarter over the turnover-prone Airline Lady Vikings Saturday night at the CenturyLink Center.

But the potential blowout turned into a tense thriller that went into overtime.

The Lady Vikings took a 56-55 lead on senior Katie Pilcher’s follow with less than a minute to play. But Shalesa McMillon hit two free throws with 6.9 seconds left to give Mansfield the title, 57-56.

Russell Hedges/Press-Tribune Airline’s Kei McCoy plays defense during the championship game of the “Doc” Edwards tournament Saturday at the CenturyLink Center.
Russell Hedges/Press-Tribune
Airline’s Kei McCoy plays defense during the championship game of the “Doc” Edwards tournament Saturday at the CenturyLink Center.

Airline was trying to win the “Doc” Edwards for the first time. It was the Lady Vikings’ seventh runner-up finish since 2003.

While disappointed with the loss, Airline coach David Duhon was pleased with the way his team fought back.

“We had an opportunity to quit,” he said. “We were down 21-5 and in all kinds of foul trouble, having to play a guard here and a guard there. I think our team grew up a lot, experience-wise.”

While Airline cut into the lead, the Lady Wolverines still had a seemingly comfortable 35-26 advantage at the end of three quarters.

Senior guard Kei McCoy sparked Airline’s rally. She scored all but one of her points in the second half, including 12 in the fourth quarter.

Taylor Gatson’s two free throws with 9.7 seconds left sent the game into overtime tied at 46.

Mansfield’s top player, guard Ashlyn Jacobs, fouled out in the final minute with 28 points. The Lady Vikings took a 54-51 lead midway through the extra period.

But Mansfield’s Kitty Ross hit a big 3-pointer to tie it.

Jacobs was named the tournament MVP. Airline’s McCoy and Jasmyn Carswell, who had eight points against Mansfield and 17 in Airline’s 50-40 semifinal win over Benton Friday, were named to the all-tournament team.

The Benton Lady Tigers finished third, rallying for a 68-60 victory over Byrd. Benton trailed by 11 in the second quarter.

Gabby Jackson led the Lady Tigers with 24 points. Madi Sessions, who was named to the all-tournament team, scored 21 and made all 15 of her free throw attempts.

Brandy Harris added 10 points, and Megan Fream had nine.

Benton defeated Green Oaks 50-46 in the quarterfinals Friday afternoon. Sessions scored 11 points. Harris, Fream and Jackson had 10 apiece.

The Haughton Lady Bucs fell to Huntington 55-53 in the consolation finals.

Mikayla Barber led Haughton with 17 points and Ebone’ Green had 14.