JOPLIN, Mo. - On opening night of the 2017-18 season, in Joplin at Thomas Jefferson High School, the Lady Lions were down 39-38 with 5:46 left. Junior Kaylynn Tarvin scored her fourth point of the game for a Baxter Springs lead. In a zone defense the Lady Lions held their lead for over four minutes, as neither team could put the ball through the hoop. Finally Thomas Jefferson’s Olivia Renfro knotted the game at 41.
With 6.4 seconds left Coach Cory White called time out to draw a sideline play near half court. Junior Abbey Underhill inbounded the ball to freshman Allie Fry, who passed to classmate Brylee Rice. Underhill slipped underneath the goal for a perfect bounce pass from Rice for an off the glass two, making it 43-41 at the buzzer.
Underhill, who finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds, said of the play: “I wasn’t nervous when the play was drawn up. My hands were sweaty from playing the entire game. We were tied and if I missed it we could go into overtime. If we were down by two, I might have been (nervous).”
Sophomore Delaney Barnes carried the load in the opening period with nine of her final 17 points. The Lady Lions were down 13-11 after the first. With Underhill’s 10 in the second quarter the score was 24-22 in Thomas Jefferson’s favor.
In the third quarter Barnes added a field goal and two free throws. Tarvin, Underhill, and Fry also each added two, but were still behind 35-34.
Baxter Springs’ boys and girls play together at home this Friday, hosting Girard. A 6 p.m. tip-off is scheduled for the Lady Lions, with the boys season opener to follow.