SPRINGER — With 1:30 remaining in the fourth quarter and Thackerville leading Springer by three points, the Lady Wildcats went into their delay offense. Thackerville wanted to run as much time off the clock and force Springer to foul.
As time ticked away, not once did the Lady Cardinals foul.
Thackerville burned off the final 90 seconds to earn a 33-30 come-from behind win and spoil senior night for Springer. Lyndsey Hill, Tandra Nugent and Ashley Wyile were recognized for the Lady Cardinals during senior night activities.
“I was surprised they didn’t foul, but our girls did a good job of dribbling the ball around and running out the clock,” Thackerville coach Cody McCage said.
Springer coach Traci Dragg attributed inexperience to the mistake.
“I’m dealing with a lot of girls who don’t have a lot of high school game experience,” she said. “Number 14 (Marli Amaya), it’s her first year to play. Number 30 (Ricki Smith) hasn’t played since the seventh grade. It’s hard to simulate that.”
Dragg said all three games between Springer (8-14) and Thackerville (7-14) have been come down to the wire, with one or two plays deciding the final outcome.
Tuesday’s victory for the Lady Wildcats came after they had trailed by 10 points in the first quarter.
Having lost its two leading scorers, Hill (broken fibula) and Nugent (torn ACL), to injury, Springer has had to look for others to step up in their places.
Enter Madison Mapp.
Having a height advantage over shorter Thackerville defenders, Mapp, a sophomore, was the focal point of the Lady Cardinals’ offensive plans in the first half.
Even when the Lady Wildcats put three defenders on her, she outworked visiting Thackerville, creating several second-chance opportunities around the basket.
With 1:47 remaining in the first quarter, Mapp followed up her own missed shot, putting Springer ahead 13-3.
Mapp led all scorers with 22 points.
“They didn’t really have anybody that could match up with her,” Dragg said. “She is not shy. Even when she had three people on her, she was begging for the ball.
Thirty seconds after Mapp put the Lady Cardinals ahead by 10 points, Shay Hollar made a rainbow 3-pointer from the left wing.
That shot breathed some life into a struggling Lady Wildcats offense.
In the final minute of the first half, Shelbi Scarbrough dribbled through the right side of the lane past a couple of Lady Cardinals defenders and made a layup, capping off a 12-3 second-quarter run by the Lady Wildcats.
Springer led 16-15 at halftime.
Struggling throughout the first half to slow down Mapp, the Lady Wildcats caught a break at the 4:48 mark of the third quarter, when she was whistled for her fourth foul.
The Lady Wildcats went ahead 26-20 after a 3-pointer by 3.
Mapp reentered the game at the start of the fourth quarter and she made her presence felt.
After a missed 3-pointer, Mapp missed the follow-up shot, but Tatum Jolly grabbed the ensuing rebound and made a three-foot jump shot, giving Springer a 29-26 lead.
Hollar was clutch in the game’s final minute minutes for Thackerville.
Producing a 3-pointer to tie the score at 29, assisted on a jump shot by Megan Scarbrough and made a rainbow jump shot off the backboard for a 3-pointer, the Lady Wildcats won the game.
Hollar and Shelbi Scarbrough each had 11 points.
“We’ve had a history of coming out slow this year,” McCage said. “I told them at halftime that ‘We’re a second-half team.’ I was proud of the way they came back.”
Thackerville: 33 (Shay Hollar 11, Shelbi Scarbrough 11, Morgan Rains 3, Shae McCage 2, Ali Roper 2, Megan Scarbrough 2, Megan Barna 1)
Springer 30: (Madison Mapp 23, Marli Amaya 4, Ricki Smith 2, Tatum Jolly 2)
Thackerville 5-19, Springer 8-15
Thackerville 3 (Hollar 2, Raines), Springer 1 (Amaya)