Although they weren't at full strength due to the absence of injured All-State performer Madison Busch, the Mammoth Spring Lady Bears still managed to turn in a scrappy effort against Viola Oct. 22 in the Anthony Ford Evening Shade Classic.
Luring the Lady Horns into a fast-paced affair over the last three periods, Mammoth Spring erased a four-point deficit down the stretch in the fourth to lock the game at 30-all and send it to an extra frame. The Lady Horns then regrouped in the overtime period to emerge with a hard-fought 38-30 win over the Lady Bears.
For Viola, it was business as usual in the Classic, as the Lady Longhorns had opened the event by slipping past Weiner 33-32 on Oct. 17. Viola overcame a five-point hole in the last 28 seconds against the Lady Cardinals to get the game-winning bucket from Jamie Dailey.
It was more of the same as Mammoth Spring and the Lady Longhorns' clash on the last day of the 2005 Classic turned into a white-knuckle ride in the final frame.
Viola held a 30-24 lead with 4:20 left in regulation before Mammoth Spring rallied to keep the contest rolling.
Jodie Walsh (10 points) and Ann Whiteside (12 points) hit a pair of hoops for the Lady Bears to narrow the gap to 30-28, with less than 50 seconds on the fourth-period clock.
The Lady Longhorns had a couple of chances to salt the game away, but two costly turnovers by Viola left the door ajar for a Mammoth Spring comeback.
The last miscue came with just six ticks left on the clock, as Viola lost the ball to Mammoth Spring. Walsh managed to drive the ball into the lane where she was fouled with one second left in regulation.
Stepping to the charity stripe, Walsh drained both free throws to send the game to overtime tied at 30.
Mammoth Spring's push for a victory came to an end in the extra period, as the Lady Horns outscored the Lady Bears 8-0 during the four-minute overtime frame to give Viola its second dramatic win in Bert Reynolds Gymnasium in less than a week's time.
Without Busch, who is out with a knee injury, to help the Lady Bears control traffic on the baseline, Viola went inside to Micah Thompson early and often during the first half of play. Thompson paced the Lady Longhorns with a game-high 17 points on the night.
Mammoth Spring got off to a sluggish start on the offensive end of the court, as a jumper by Melanie Maguffee was the Lady Bears' lone bucket of the first period of play.
With Thompson leading the way, Viola jumped to a 10-3 lead after one.
The Lady Bears found their legs a bit in the second period, as they sped up the pace of the game by getting after Viola with full-court pressure.
Mammoth Spring outscored Viola 10-8 in the second to narrow the gap to five points, 18-13, at the half.
Recharged at intermission, Mammoth Spring came out smoking in the third period and used a 10-2 run to grab its first lead of the night, 22-20, with 4:17 left in the frame.
Using a run of its own, Viola moved back on top by a deuce, 26-24, after three.
Dailey (15 points) added to this margin by posting back-to-back hoops to open the fourth, before Mammoth Spring mustered one last push to lock the game in the waning seconds of the period, only to fall eight points short in overtime.
Cortney Winter added four points for Viola, while Teegan Baumunk tallied two.
Ashley Walsh posted three points for the Lady Bears, with Heather Watson and Jonnie Bellows hitting two points each.