It's a game that will be talked about for quite a while. With both teams coming in with a 1-1 district record, the North Lamar Pantherettes and the Paris Lady Cats knew this could be a pivotal game in the season.
In the end, it was the North Lamar Pantherettes that walked away with a 56-54 victory thanks to a buzzer-beating three pointer by Madison Morrison. The shot wasn't without controversy, though. North Lamar had the ball with .5 seconds left in the ball game.
By rule, you only need .3 seconds for a catch and shoot. So, the .5 was plenty of time. The controversy came in because the clock never was started on the play. North Lamar inbounded the ball from half court. Madison came off of a screen and caught the ball 28 feet from the basket. She turned and fired. The ball hit the backboard and fell through the net.
"With .5 seconds, you know it has to be a catch and shoot. We ran Madison to set a back screen hoping the defense would shift and then rub her off of her post player to get the ball for a catch and shoot. That's all we had time for. Luckily it went in." - Coach Brett Harp
The North Lamar crowd erupted. Paris fans were stunned. The three officials for the game convened in front of the scoring table to discuss what just happened. After several minutes, they came back and ruled that the bucket counted and the game was over. North Lamar had won.
For North Lamar, though, it shouldn't have come down to the heroics. The Pantherettes enjoyed multiple double-digit leads in the game only to see them evaporate. After leading by 11 points in the second quarter, Paris came storming back to tie the game at 26 going into the half.
North Lamar came out in the third quarter strong, though. They jumped out to another double-digit lead early in the fourth. Paris, however, erased it as well and took a six point lead with less than three minutes to play in the game.
The Pantherettes would battle back this time. Down by two with less than ten seconds left, Madison Morrison drove to the basket and missed a layup. She grabbed her own rebound and quickly called a timeout. North Lamar had the ball with 2.4 seconds left.
Madison inbounded the ball to Abbie Fischer. Fischer went up for a shot and was fouled by Paris. Paris not liking the call, slammed the ball down and got a technical foul called as well. With .5 seconds left, North Lamar would have four free throws to try and take the lead. They missed all but one of them. That set up Madison's heroic game-winning shot.
North Lamar is now 2-1 in district and will be on the road at Atlanta Tuesday night. Their next home game will be Friday when they host Pittsburg.
North Lamar 13 13 15 15 56
Paris 5 21 6 22 54
Madison Morrison 21 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals
Bailee Nickerson 9 points, 6 rebounds
McKayla Figueroa 8 points, 1 rebound, 3 steals
Sydnee Prunty 7 points, 9 rebounds, 1 bock
Summer Andrews 5 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal
Abbi Fischer 4 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal
Emma Stewart 2 points, 1 steal