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Anderson County 70, Louisburg 69 OT

WELLSVILLE – Louisburg didn’t have much left in the tank. The same could also be said for Anderson County. The two teams beat each other up for 32 minutes, then the game went into overtime as both squads played physical in the first round of the Top Gun Tournament on Tuesday in Wellsville. Whether it was diving for loose balls, tough defense or fighting for rebounds, Louisburg and Anderson County left it all on the court. Unfortunately for the Lady Cats, Anderson County made just one more play. The Bulldogs made a free throw with 8 seconds left to break the tie and Louisburg’s last second shot fell short as the Lady Cats fell 70-69. The loss sends Louisburg to the consolations semifinals where it will face off with Spring Hill at 5 p.m. today in Wellsville. It was a revenge win of sorts for Anderson County after they Lady Cats defeated them in Louisburg back in December. Louisburg (6-4) appeared well on their way to a victory early on as the Lady Cats jumped out to an 8-0 lead, but Anderson County battled back and eventually took a 33-29 lead at halftime. “Anderson County was tough and physical like that the first time,” Louisburg coach Shawn Lowry said. “They have improved and their record shows they have been playing well. I think maybe when we got out to that early lead, we had some mentality stuff set in that probably shouldn’t set in. The next thing you know we are in a game again and it was back and forth the whole way. We had opportunities to win and had shots at the rim that didn’t go in, but that is the way it goes sometimes.” The Bulldogs built an eight-point lead midway through the third quarter, but the Lady Cats were able to rally and eventually take the lead. Junior Megan Foote connected on four free throws and knocked down a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left in the third to bring the Lady Cats within one. Right before the end of the quarter, Foote recorded a steal and passed it down the floor to Madilyn Melton and she laid it in for a 48-47 lead. Anderson County took the lead back again, but Foote put together another run as she scored seven points late in the fourth quarter, including a 3-pointer to tie the game at 62 with 1 minute and 45 seconds left in the game. Foote then had a layup on the team’s next possession and the Lady Cats went up 64-62 with 52 seconds remaining.
Junior Madilyn Melton lays the ball up for two points Tuesday against Anderson County.
The Bulldogs eventually tied the game on a basket with 26 seconds left and the two teams went into overtime. In the extra period, Melton and junior Alyse Moore both scored to give Louisburg an early lead. However, with the game tied with 8 seconds left, Louisburg was called for a foul after both teams dove for a loose ball. That sent Anderson County’s Cali Foltz to the line as she made 1 of 2 free throws to give the Bulldogs the lead for good. “I thought we started out good, but here is what we have to get away from,” Lowry said. “It can’t be me challenging the kids and then they get tough. They are going to have to collectively get together on that. In the second half, the girls just played their tails off. Every single one of them played their tails off. Both teams had zero gas left and it was just about taking shots. It was a fun overtime high school game, but obviously wish we could have gotten the win there.” Melton led the Lady Cats in scoring with 22 points and had eight rebounds and five steals. Moore came close to a triple-double as she tallied 21 points, 13 rebounds and she had seven steals. She had 16 of those 21 points in the first half. Foote finished the game with 15 points and five steals, while Brooklyn Diederich and Melton both led the team with 10 deflections. Louisburg had a hard time slowing down Anderson County’s inside-outside combo of Rayna Jasper and Foltz. Jasper had a game-high 28 points and was 9-for-10 from the free-throw line, while Foltz finished with 23 points. Sophomore Delaney Wright found herself on Jasper at the top of the Lady Cats’ zone defense and pressured her all night as Wright played the entire four quarters and overtime. “I told Delaney if that girl doesn’t come off the floor then you are not coming off the floor,” Lowry said. “If you are tired, then she is going to be tired too and I think she stayed on the floor the entire time. I thought we played with toughness and pride out there, but it just didn’t come down to one shot, it came down to a lot of little things.” Louisburg will try and bounce back today against Spring Hill and then will play for either fifth or seventh-place Saturday against Topeka-Hayden or Lansing. LOU               14           15           19           7             4 – 69 AC                  10           23           14           18           5 – 70 LOUISBURG (6-4): Madilyn Melton 8-17 5-9 22; Alyse Moore 8-16 5-7 21; Megan Foote 4-9 5-6 15; Delaney Wright 2-12 2-2 6; Brooklyn Diederich 2-5 0-0 5. Totals: 24-65 17-26 69. 3-point field goals: 4, (Foote 2, Diederich 1, Melton 1)