The Lady Bears defeated the Lady Greyhounds 49-47 in a triple-overtime game Tuesday night.
Mount Airy trailed most of the night, but took the lead at the start of the final period with foul shooting and held on for the win.
The game moved along briskly from the start to a timeout from Mount Airy with 1:12 left in regulation. At that point it was 8 p.m., but it would take 41 minutes longer before the outcome was decided.
“I liked the way that we competed,” said Bear Coach Howard Mayo. “The whole team did a good job of battling with them.”
The Bears were missing starting forward Kathryn Beasley to an injury and began the game packing in the defense around North center Malaya Johnson.
Daring the Hounds to shoot from the outside, Erin March and Jessy Nichols each swished two long shots in the first half.
North led 12-7 after the first quarter and 20-15 at the half.
“I thought we did a good job of playing fundamental basketball,” said Mayo. “Especially in the first half of keeping them off the offensive board.”
Johnson finished the first half with just a three-point play in the first half, but Maggie Hawks came off the bench to pitch in five points.
In the second quarter, the Bears missed all four free throws, but in the second half, it was the Greyhounds who couldn’t convert.
The Bears had reached the penalty late in the third quarter. However, North missed the front end of a one-and-one, then missed another front end early in the fourth.
The Hounds would miss four more free throws in the fourth.
Johnson scored to start the fourth quarter and give North its biggest lead of the night at 31-25.
Alex Atkins hit her first three of the night to cut it to 31-28.
After North missed those four free throws, March scored twice to push the lead to seven at 35-28. One came off a feed from Johnson, and the other was when the 6-foot-2 Johnson and 5-foot-11 March played volleyball at the rim until the ball fell in.
Ayano Shelton scored to make it 35-30, and Mayo called a timeout with 3:56 left.
The young Hounds began to look tentative on offense and didn’t score for nearly five minutes.
Shelton and Davi Barbour scored to cut the lead to 35-33. Then senior Jasmine Varney scored a bucket and followed it with two made free throws with 54.4 seconds left to give the Bears the lead at 37-35.
Johnson scored to tie the game, then she forced Shelton to take a high-arching final shot that missed long.
Both teams scored just three points in the first four-minute overtime. Mikayla Seivers had a drive to the hoop at the buzzer, but couldn’t finish the driving shot.
The teams scored just once in the second overtime for a 42-all tie.
Then in the third, Shelton hit three of four free throws for a 45-42 lead with 1:56 left.
North’s Taylor Hill drove the baseline, and Atkins stepped in for a bang-bang charging call.
After Varney hit a free throw, Jordan Badgett hit a shot from the foul line to make it 46-44 with less than a minute left.
Shelton hit two free throws with 45.2 seconds left, and Varney split a pair with 15.3 seconds left.
Badgett hit a three from the left corner with six seconds left, but with no timeouts left, the Bears ran four seconds off before inbounding the ball and then let the clock run out.
“Ayano Shelton had a very solid game with 18 points and 10 boards,” said Mayo. “Jasmine Varney had a good game with 15 points and six boards.” She also had three steals and showed a good nose for the ball, he added.
Seivers led the Bears with five assists to go with two points.
Barvour scored eight points and Atkins six.
March scored 14 points, but none in the overtime periods as she battled foul trouble. Johnson and Hawks had seven points each, but none in overtime.
Badgett didn’t score in regulation, but had seven points in overtime.
Nichols finished with eight, Casey White three and Morgan Hawks one.
The Hounds host North Wilkes on Tuesday, while the Bears travel to North Stokes.