LEBANON - Beech senior McCall Decker knocked down a three-pointer with 0.4 seconds remaining in overtime to lift Beech to a 34-31 win over Lebanon in the first round of the District 9-AAA girls basketball tournament Thursday night.
Beech had the ball on the side with six seconds remaining and after a series of timeouts by both teams, the Lady Bucs set up the play coach Kristi Utley wanted.
"We took it from another play and just switched players," Utley said. "I knew with the time on the clock we were going to take an outside shot and you just get a feeling about a kid, and McCall had shot pretty well throughout the night so I felt good about her taking it."
Decker inbounded the ball and then ran to the other side of the court to get open for the game winner.
"Coach had me throw the ball into Mia (Dean) and I ran through and she got it back to me and I just put it up," Decker said. "I had no idea if it was going in or not but it just went in."
Decker's were the only points scored in the extra four-minute period.
The game was low scoring throughout, especially the first half. Beech trailed, 12-9, at the break.
"The first half was ugly," Utley said. "Nobody shot the ball well. I liked our defensive intensity. When you only give up 12 points in the first half you feel good about yourself but we couldn't hit a shot. We were just out of rhythm offensively."
Lebanon extended the lead in the third period to as many as seven points before the Lady Bucs responded. Decker, JC Swafford and Savannah Jarratt all scored before Swafford hit a three-pointer to give Beech a 20-19 lead.
The game stayed close the remainder of the way. Decker hit a three with 2:11 to go to give Beech a three-point advantage, but Lebanon responded with a three of their own to tie the game at 31 with just over a minute left.
The win means that the Lady Bucs have secured a spot in the region tournament that tips off next week. Lebanon's season comes to an end with the loss.
"We gave it our all tonight," Decker said. "Especially because it could have been our last game."
BEECH (34): McCall Decker 12, JC Swafford 11, Kendra Mueller 6, Mia Dean 3, Savannah Jarratt 2