Lady Aces win regional title
MOUNT CARMEL - For the first time since 2014 the Mount Carmel Lady Aces are regional champions after defeating Flora in overtime Thursday, 53-46, to win its own class 2A girls high school basketball regional.
“It’s nice to finally pull one through on our senior year,” said Lady Aces’ senior Haley Maguire. “It was a tough game and that’s what we want. We wanted a close game and that’s what we got.”
The game was tied 45-45 at the end of regulation. Sydney Cammon knocked down a 15-foot baseline jumper with 30 seconds left to tie it for the Wolfgals and eventually send it to over time. Flora had a chance to win it in regulation after Mount Carmel turned the ball over with 2 seconds left but Cammon’s long-range jumper bounced off the front of the rim and out of the cylinder, falling harmlessly to the floor.
“Flora played a wonderful ballgame,” said Mount Carmel coach Tim Willis. “They got off to a nice start. We battled back. I thought we did a pretty good job. We made mistakes. We made more than we normally do. Part of that is, regional final night, so we made it a little more difficult on ourselves. Give Flora part of the credit too.”
In the overtime sessions, the Lady Aces outscored Flora, 8-1.
“Defensively, despite the fact that Cannon got 31 points, I thought we did a pretty good job defensively,” said Willis “She’s a pretty good ballplayer and good ballplayers make good plays. That’s job part of it. You can’t get frustrated by that. You’ve job got to make sure they don’t get the extra shots.”
Baylie Ray finishes with a team-high 19 points on seven field goals, which included three from behind the arch.
“I was super nervous,” said Ray going into overtime. “I knew we still had it, but still, that’s our third or fourth game this year going to overtime.”
Ray got things started for Mount Carmel in the overtime as she scored on a layup just seven seconds into the extra four-minute session. Cammon had a chance to tie it from the free throw line but missed both attempts. The closest Flora would get is after a single free throw from Krystan Darrough with 3:13 left.
After that, it was all from the free throw line for Mount Carmel with the exception at the end when Kami Kline picked off a lazy inbound pass from under the Lady Aces’ basket with nine seconds left to extend Mount Carmel’s victory margin to seven
Kline followed with an easy layup as the Mount Carmel faithful began celebrating a regional championship.
“I wouldn’t say we were relaxed because we didn’t relax all night long, but we had a little room for error and thankfully for that when they made a little run,” said Willis. “We missed some free throws there at the end of the fourth quarter but there in the overtime, I thought we shot them much better.”
Kline finished with her best game of her career according to Willis as she finished with 15 points on six field goals and a 3-for-5 showing at the free throw line.
“It wasn’t just one of her better games it was the best game of her basketball career on both ends,” said Willis. “You talk about the points, she was under control when she shot it.
“She has a tendency, sometimes, to just throw it up there and she didn’t [tonight]. Everything was under control. Kami certainly played great. They all did well. You can’t single out anyone on the defensive end but this was certainly Kami’s best game she’s had.”
Mount Carmel (18-11) advances to Monday’s Effingham (St. Anthony) Sectional. The Lady Aces will face No. 6 Teutopolis t 7:30 p.m.
Contact Register Sports Editor Paul Wilcoxen at (618) 263-1004, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @paulwilcoxen
At Mount Carmel
Mount Carmel 53, Flora 46.
Flora 9 21 34 45 46
Mount Carmel 17 27 38 45 53
FLORA - Gracey Himelick 0 0-1 0, Kyrsten Darrough 2 5-8 11, Jaryn Allen 0 0-2 0, Sydney Cammon 12 7-10 31, Emma Walden 1 2-2 4, Jencie Behnke 0 0-1 0. Totals - 15 14-24 46.
MOUNT CARMEL - Baylie Ray 7 2-6 19, Kami Kline 6 3-5 15, Kylie Applebey 1 4-4 6, Mollie Dardeen 2 0-0 6, Haley Maguire 1 1-2 4, Kassidy Drone 0 2-2 2, Lauryn Wright 0 0-1 0, Maya Smith 0 1-2 1. TOTALS - 17 FG 13-22 FT 53 TP.
3-POINTERS - Flora 2 (Darrough 2); Mount Carmel 6 (Ray 3, Dardeen 2, Maguire 1).