DICKSON — Drawing a foul with 18.2 seconds remaining, in a tie game, Kirstyn Jolly acknowledged her nerves.
From the westside bleachers, Dickson went from right to left in the second half. Jolly drew the foul in front of Dickson's bench. With all eyes on her, she walked to the free-throw line.
The first charity toss? Swish.
She hit the second one, too.
On the other end, in the waning seconds, Ally Parham's 3-pointer from the top of the key missed everything. All the Lady Comets had to do was inbound the ball. Clary Donica caught the pass from Aly Goss as the final couple seconds expired in Dickson's 57-55 win Friday at Dickson Gymnasium.
Donica grabbed an offensive rebound with 7:35 to play. That was her 10th rebound, securing a double-double. She finished with a team-high 18 points and 14 rebounds — four offensive.
Jolly's free throws marked the game's second and final lead change.
“When the first one went in, I was like, 'This next one's going in,'” Jolly said. “I felt confident this time when I usually don't.
“It's just a feeling you get,” Jolly said in reference to her confidence's origin. “I'm super proud of the way we played. It was a close ball game. We found a way to win.”
Sienna Young's 3-pointer from the left corner tied the game
“That was huge,” Dickson (7-6, 1-1 Lake Country Conference) coach Josh Talley. “That's what I just told (my assistant coach, Justin) Shaw: That's the second time she's hit a really big 3-pointer for us.”
Plainview (6-6, 1-1) took its first lead at 51-50 with 2:21 to play. Amiya Howard — who had a game-high 20 points — stole a pass, drew a foul and hit a free throw. At the 1:58 mark, Parham hit a left-handed runner. Twenty-one seconds later, Young's 3-pointer tied the game. With 56.3 seconds to play, Donica hit two free throws. On the Lady Indians' ensuing possession, Parham got to the left baseline and assisted on Peyton Jones' game-tying basket.
With 21.5 seconds to play, Jolly broke Plainview's pressure and reached the frontcourt. Talley called timeout. Three seconds later, Howard fouled Jolly.
Kristina Harwell also gave Dickson a lift. She scored the first two field goals — then scored with a shot off the dribble with 2:41 remaining in the third quarter. The basket stretched Dickson's lead to 38-33. She also converted a fourth-quarter free throw that increased the Lady Comets' lead to 50-47.
All smiles postgame, she praised Donica for her help.
“I am awesome,” she said. “I don't know where that came from tonight. I was so excited. I just went out and played. I didn't think about it. I just went out and did. I'm really excited.
“I would not have done tonight what I did if Clary Donica hadn't been helping me. She's been staying after practice helping me. She's been encouraging when I'm down. I would not be here without her. I would not be starting.”
Dickson led 26-15 with 3:10 to play in the second quarter. Parham's 3-pointers helped Plainview stay somewhat close. She shot 2 of 7 from three-point distance until the game's final shot — with both field goals occurring in the first half. That seventh attempt occurred within the first minute of the third quarter. From that point, she focused more on facilitating. The Lady Indians' senior point guard also finished with about five assists.
Unofficially, Plainview defenders got beat on backdoor cuts three times, including Jolly's basket in the waning seconds of the first half. Though Howard hit three of her game-high five 3-pointers in the second half, Dickson persevered.
“That's what I told the girls: I'm extremely, extremely proud of them,” Talley said. “We did everything to blow them out early and then they did everything to get back in it and take the lead. That was two teams, tonight, that really battled it out and left it all on the floor.”
Plainview 9 19 9 19 — 55
Dickson 16 16 10 15 — 57
Dickson: Clary Donica 18, Kirstyn Jolly 15, Kristina Harwell 9, Sienna Young 7, Hailey Davis 6, Aly Goss 2.
Plainview: Amiya Howard 19, Ally Parham 13, Peyton Jones 9, Rachel Jacobi 6, Anna Simmons 5, Talley Morris 3.
Dickson: 3 (Young 2, Jolly)
Plainview: 8 (Howard 5, Parham 2, Morris)