Thornton Academy’s Isabella Robinson looks to pass in the third quarter Wednesday night.

Thornton Academy’s Isabella Robinson looks to pass in the third quarter Wednesday night.

PORTLAND — Thanks to a strong second half, the Bonny Eagle girls basketball team powered past Thornton Academy 41-37 in overtime on Wednesday night at the Portland Expo.

Mackenzie Emery led the Scots with 16 points and two steals. Cassidy Emery scored nine points on three 3- pointers.

Ashley Howe led the Trojans with 11 points, while Alex Hart tallied 10 and Cassidy Cochrane eight.

Although the game would go to overtime, TA came out strong and took a big first-quarter lead.

In the opening minutes, each team played tight press defense in their zones, and it took until the 5:28 mark for the first points to be scored. TA closed out the quarter strong, taking a 9-2 lead into the second.

Bonny Eagle’s offense began clicking in the second, starting with a 3- pointer by Megan McIntosh and later another 3-pointer from Mackenzie Emery.

Mackenzie Emery also had success at the free throw line, earning five free throw points in the second quarter alone, and bringing the Scots within one point. In the final minute, Howe sank a three, giving the Trojans a 17- 13 lead at the half.

TA came out strong in the third, starting the half by going on an 8-3 run. The Scots battled back, going on an 8-3 run of their own in the final minutes, making the score 28-24 in favor of TA heading into the final period of regulation.

Like the first, the fourth quarter was a tight defensive battle with both teams combining for only four points in the opening two minutes. Mackenzie Emery hit a 3-pointer at the 5:46 mark, giving Bonny Eagle their first lead of the night.

TA regained the lead at the 1:20 on free throws and later added two more foul shots with 32 seconds remaining.

Down 34-31, the Scots brought the ball into the TA zone and Cassidy Emery sank her third 3-pointer with 24 seconds remaining, forcing the game into overtime.

In the four-minute overtime, neither team could establish a rhythm, primarily due to the amount of fouls called.

The Scots took advantage of their opportunities at the line and scored five free throws in the overtime and outscored TA 7-3, securing the victory.

TA coach Eric Marston felt the difference in the game was his team’s turnovers.

“(Bonny Eagle) played well, they played well on the high screens, defensively in their zone. We weren’t making shots, we weren’t taking advantage of opportunities,” said Marston. “We turned the ball over far too many times and that was the difference. We didn’t take advantage of our opportunities because we turned the ball over.”

Marston admitted his team’s dif ficulties overcoming the late Bonny Eagle surge.

“We played a game like this earlier in the year against Deering when they took the momentum into overtime. We felt comfortable going into overtime, but to have the game pretty close to well in hand and to see an NBA three send it to overtime … it’s pretty hard to bounce back from,” said Marston.

Despite the loss, Marston was pleased with his team’s effort, especially Howe, who was fighting an illness.

“I was happy with the way they fought. Ashley Howe is battling a really serious illness tonight, but she played hard for the entire game,” said Marston. “I can’t say enough about how hard she played. We were just too thin in the end, with our kids fouling out, it was hard.”

Marston was also happy with his team’s effort throughout the season and was proud of the impact it made on the community.

“It was a grind and we never really hit our rhythm, but I’m proud of the girls,” said Marston. “The basketball season is a big commitment. The amount of hours they put in, on and off the court, the amount of charity work they’ve done for the community, they’re a great example for the younger kids.”

According to Marston, his team’s season ended on a bittersweet note.

“This is one of the worst feelings at the final game of the season, but when you think about the successes they’ve had off the court, it’s a little bit easier to take,” said Marston.

Sports Staff Writer Alex Sponseller can be reached at [email protected] or at 282-1535 ext. 323. Follow the Journal Tribune Sports Department on Twitter @JournalTsports.

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