It took all they had, plus some late long-distance shooting from Kelly Cooper, but the top-seeded Melbourne junior Lady Bearkatz held off the Cave City junior Cavewomen, 37-35 in overtime, to win the annual Izard County Invitational Tournament title Jan. 28 at the Cougars' Den in Brockwell.
Cooper (12 points) hit two of her four 3-pointers in the OT frame to help Melbourne (19-3) slip past the third-seeded junior Cavewomen (12-5).
The game was knotted at 30-all after four periods of play, when Cooper opened the extra stanza with a trey.
Cave City answered back with a bucket from Shyanne Price to pull within a point. Price led all scorers with a game-high 17 points before she fouled out with 2:12 left to play in overtime.
The junior Cavewomen used a free throw from Gracen Ratliff (11 points) and putback by Abbi Ball (three points) to slide ahead 35-33 with just under a minute-and-a-half left to play.
But then it was Cooper's turn again, as she drilled her second long 3-ball in overtime, pushing the junior Lady Katz in front 36-35.
Melbourne tacked on a free throw to go up 37-35, but Cave City still had a chance to pull even with a shot at the buzzer.
However, that shot was short of the mark, leaving Melbourne with a tough two-point overtime victory.
The contest was tied at 21-all heading into the fourth period.
Cave City took a 28-27 lead late in the fourth, but an old-fashioned 3-point play from Melbourne's Emily Gardner (eight points) staked the junior Lady Katz to a 30-28 lead with 50 ticks left.
Melbourne had a chance to pad the lead, but a missed front end of a one-and-one left the door open for Cave City.
And the junior Cavewomen took full advantage of that with a layup with six seconds left in the fourth, locking the score at 30-all, and sending the game into an extra period of play.
Cave City fell behind 6-0 to start the contest, but used a 12-1 run to take a 12-7 lead at the end of the first period.
The junior Cavewomen maintained that cushion to lead 17-12 at the half.