12/13/08 — Rebel girls fall in three OTs

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Rebel girls fall in three OTs

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on December 13, 2008 11:33 PM

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CALYPSO -- Missed free throws and crucial turnovers prevented the North Duplin girls' varsity basketball team from erasing an 0-3 start this season.

And this loss -- so far -- had the most-agonizing ending.

Niesha Lewis converted back-to-back steals into layups as Hobbton pulled out a nail-biting, 57-54 triple-overtime victory Friday evening. The Wildcats swept the regular-season series and exited 3-4 overall with all wins coming against Carolina 1-A Conference opposition.

North Duplin (0-4 overall) had ample chances to seal the outcome in the first overtime. But missed free throws allowed the Wildcats to hang around and force a second overtime on Anna Schoonmaker's driving layup as time expired.

The free throw futility bothered first-year Rebels head coach Carla Anderson.

"We've been working on free throws a lot, even shooting them after we're tired from scrimmaging in practice to give them a real-time game situation," said Anderson. "They must make at least 75 percent of their shots or they run. I guess we are just going to have to focus that much harder on our free throw shooting."

Lewis' steal and layup gave Hobbton its biggest lead, 50-45, with 94 seconds left in the second overtime. But Samantha Cates' 13-footer and Angelica Favela's NBA-range 3-pointer -- off Cates' assist -- tied the contest at 50-50.

Each team wasted its final possession in the second OT. The Wildcats committed a turnover, while the Rebels' Tearra Ammons watched an offensive putback rim out in the closing seconds.

Working out of an aggressive zone defense, Lewis and Schoonmaker each deflected a pass, which sprung Lewis free for two layups early in the third OT. North Duplin lost its offensive rhythm and misfired on six consecutive offensive possessions.

The Wildcats maintained a two-possession lead and the Rebels couldn't recover.

"I'm very, very proud of the girls tonight," said Anderson, whose team pulled down a whopping 73 rebounds in the 2-hour, 44-minute affair. "They gave it their all and their heart was in it the entire time. I just hate they had to lose a game like this."

Ammons paced the Rebels with a double-double -- 12 points and a career-high 25 rebounds. Favela supplied 11 points, three assists and four rebounds. Cates contributed nine points and 10 rebounds, while Jessica Jones added nine points and eight boards.

Katlyn Eloshway tallied eight points.

North Duplin (0-4 overall) returns to action Tuesday at Holly Ridge Dixon.