BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) - They couldn't get it done in
regulation from the free throw line, but when given an extra
period, Iroquois capitalized to become state champions.
Asia Mathies scored 15 points and Iroquois made 8 of 14 free
throws in overtime after missing three of four in the final 10
seconds to beat Elizabethtown 55-47 and win their first KHSAA girls
Sweet Sixteen state championship.
"It feels great," Iroquois head coach Al Northington said.
"I'm so proud and grateful. I feel blessed and I feel lucky,
because (Elizabethtown) played well enough to win too. We beat a
great team, we didn't beat a mediocre team. I think they are the
best team we've seen all year, and I'm just thankful that we did
something, maybe worked a little bit harder to get the win."
After Iroquois (33-1) got out to a 19-11 lead in the first
quarter, the Lady Panthers outscored the Lady Raiders (33-3) 11-2
in the second quarter to make it a 22-21 Iroquois lead at halftime.
In the final seconds of the fourth quarter, trailing 43-41,
Elizabethtown's Dorian Downs got a 3-pointer to roll in from the
left baseline for a 44-43 lead.
The Lady Raiders got four chances at the free-throw line in the
final seconds, with Adia Mathies making one of two attempts.
Her sister Asia got the rebound after the missed second free
throw and was fouled. She missed both and a final desperation
running shot from Downs fell short for Elizabethtown to send the
game into overtime.
"Asia showed a lot of determination," Northington said. "She
got that (rebound following the missed) free throw, that was all
heart and determination. She wanted it more than they did when she
got that rebound."
Iroquois scored four points in the first minute of overtime and
made free throws down the stretch to earn the victory.
Elizabethtown shot 42.9 percent (18-for-42) for the game,
including 45.5 percent (5-for-11) from 3-point range. Iroquois shot
37 percent (17-for-46).
"I didn't expect anything less (from my team)," Elizabethtown
head coach Tim Mudd said. "I really thought that we would come
back and I never thought that we would lose the game. We've done
that a lot this year. I think (Iroquois) fully expected to win this
game as well."
Asia Mathies' 15 points led four Iroquois players in
double-figures. Meka Birdsong had 12 points, while Adia Mathies and
Kayla Hickman had 10 each.
Alex Jones recorded a double-double for the Lady Panthers with
18 points and 11 rebounds and Terra Lucas added 11.
Adia Mathies was selected as the Most Outstanding Player of the
tournament, averaging 13.8 points per game in the Lady Raiders'
four games en route to the title. Adia and Asia Mathies along with
teammate Kayla Hickman were named to the all-tournament team.
Jones, Downs and Lucas were named to the all-tournament team for