Lady Bulldogs fall short in overtime

BISHOP ENGLAND 70, SILVER BLUFF 63 (OT)

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DANIEL ISLAND, S.C. --- Mallory Molony remembers exactly what happened the last time she and her Bishop England teammates had to face the Silver Bluff girls basketball team.

"They beat us by 15 points. It was bad," she said. "This wasn't a revenge game, but it was one of our goals to beat Silver Bluff."

The senior forward led her team with 25 points to knock off the Lady Bulldogs 70-63 in overtime of their Class AA state quarterfinals game Tuesday night.

Silver Bluff tried to stop Molony with a box-and-one defense early, but the plan backfired when the slow pace of play played right into Bishop England's hands. The Lady Bishops led by six points after the first quarter as Silver Bluff struggled to get the ball inside in the half-court set and the lead ballooned to as much as 12 in the second half. But Silver Bluff found its footing with a full-court press late in the game and ended regulation on a 6-0 run to force overtime.

"I thought we had them a lot of times, but they kept coming back," Molony said.

Silver Bluff trailed by nine with 2 minutes left in the fourth quarter when Khadajah Simpkins hit two free throws and guard Erin McMurray came off the bench to hit a shot with her toe on the 3-point line. After trading baskets, the Lady Bulldogs still trailed by six points with 55 seconds left. But Simpkins hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key, then took a charge from Molony to get the ball back. McMurray made sure her feet were well off the 3-point line for a shot from the left corner to tie the game.

But the magic ran out in overtime when Silver Bluff gave up 15 points over the final 3:42. Most of the scoring came from the free-throw line where Bishop England shot 26 of 34.

Lady Bulldogs coach Robert McKenzie said the lack of focus that plagued his team early in the game re-emerged in the extra period.

"Our focus definitely wasn't there," he said. "What we talked about this week was 'focus perfection' and I know that's a lot to ask, but if you're going to win in the third round you have to play that way."

Jamie Foreman, who tried unsuccessfully to draw a foul in a collision with Molony at the end of regulation, finished with a game-high 26 points. Her sister, Kaylin, added 10 as the Lady Bulldogs finished the season at 21-3.


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