BOILING SPRINGS — Northern outlasted Boiling Springs in overtime 33-31 after clawing itself out of an early hole in a Mid-Penn Colonial Division clash Thursday night.
The Polar Bears (7-7, 4-4 Colonial) trailed the entire game until sophomore point guard Allie French finished a fast-break layup with 35 seconds left in regulation to knot the game up at 29 and send it into overtime.
This bucket tied it up for Northern and that’s where we stay headed into overtime 29-29 pic.twitter.com/2eQT08nl6N— Mick Reinhard (@Mayflies) January 19, 2018
In the extra period, the Bubblers struck first as Sydney Hemler hit a floater in the lane over 6-foot-1 Corrina Smith.
But the Polar Bears used their height advantage and momentum shift to answer back as Smith scored from close range. On an ensuing trip down the court, senior Kyra Garber drained an open look about 10 feet out on the left wing to give Northern its first and only lead of the game.
It would prove to be enough. Time expired on Boiling Springs as they couldn’t get the ball out of the backcourt on their final possession.
“That’s the difference between us now and a couple of years ago,” Northern head coach Paula Clendaniel said. “If we were down a few years ago, it was tough for them to come back because the assumption was we were going to lose. So now that they’ve had a good taste of winning, the attitude has changed. They know what they are capable of and when we get ourselves in that situation we have fought back before.”
Boiling Springs (3-11, 3-5 Colonial) frustrated Northern in the first quarter with the swarming zone defense that had keyed their three-game divisional winning streak entering the night. The Bubblers started the game on a 13-1 run as the Polar Bears went without a field goal in the period.
Boiling Springs’ junior Ashlyn Yocum knocked down three 3-pointers in the first half to spark the Bubblers on the offensive side of the ball.
Northern cut into their deficit as Smith found more space in the paint and the Bubblers’ point person on defense, Hemler, picked up her second foul. Yocum, however, hit a 12-foot jumper with 20 seconds left in the half to push the advantage back out to 20-14 at the break.
“She’s a shooter,” Boiling Springs coach Marisa Elliot said. “Mentally, she has a lot of confidence in her shot. She has stepped up a bunch of times this year and knocked some key shots down. When she gets going, she’s hard to defend and hard to stop.”
The Bubblers played the second half with a tenuous grip on the lead as they struggled to find the bottom of the basket.
“Our defense was what I think won the game,” Clendaniel said. “Because we got some deflections, we changed the pace of what they wanted to do. The turnovers and deflections got the momentum going our way, and we capitalized on it luckily.”
Smith led all scorers with 15 points, while Hemler registered 13 and Yocum 11 for the Bubblers.
“They see the positives,” Elliot said of her young squad. “They know they’re getting better. The scores aren’t lying.”
Both squads face quick turnarounds as Northern hosts Greencastle-Antrim and Boiling Springs travels to Shippensburg on Friday evening.