Thirty-two minutes was not enough to determine a winner between the Marceline girls and Harrisburg on Monday night. The Tigers overcame an eight-point deficit at the end of the third period to force overtime and defeat the Bulldogs 51-45.
Marceline moves to 6-8 on the season and 1-1 in Lewis & Clark Conference competition.
The Tigers harbored an 18-13 lead at the halftime break, but Harrisburg struck a 12-2 run to begin the third quarter. Marceline did not score in the second half until a Gabby Bollman bucket with 2:30 remaining in the third quarter, and Harrisburg led 32-24 entering the final frame.
"The difference was making our shots down the stretch," Marceline sophomore guard Kenzie Stahl said. "Our shots weren't falling, and in the fourth quarter we got that back and played defense. A conference win is really big."
Stahl finished with a team-high 18 points, and hit a pair of clutch free throws as time wound down in the fourth quarter to give her team a two-point lead before Harrisburg tied the game at 39-all on a floater with nine seconds remaining.
The overtime period featured four lead changes and two ties before the Tigers were able to create enough separation to seal the ballgame.
Marceline coach Jordan Beck said that a win like Monday night's is huge for her team moving forward into the conference slate and back half of the season.
"The defense did show up tonight," Beck said. "Last year we lost by one point to Harrisburg, and we only won one conference game. Our realistic expectations are a little higher this year, and games like tonight prove to the girls that we can win some games. Free throws didn't help us out any, but we found a way to scrap back and win. We had 16 offensive rebounds against a bigger team, so we did some things well."
The Tigers converted just under half of their free-throw attempts, shooting 17-of-35 from the line.
Maycee Edgar scored 14 points, and Baylee Jobson had seven. Harrisburg's Leah Barton led all scorers with 19 points.
The Tigers travel to Schuyler County on Friday.