HARTSHORNE — Calvin star Hannah Harris and her Lady Bulldog teammates appear to have the Tupelo Lady Tigers down and out midway through the third quarter of their Class B Regional Tournament elimination game Friday night inside the Hartshorne Event Center.
But after Harris picked up her fourth foul of the game, the Lady Tigers used a remarkable rally to erase an 18-point third-quarter deficit and stunned the Lady Bulldogs 44-41.
Tupelo improved to 7-19 on the year and needed a win on Saturday against Moyers (19-10) to advance to next week's Class B Area Tournament in Quinton. Calvin saw its season come to an early end at 16-11.
"We found out what we were made of in the second half," said first-year Tupelo head coach Dustin Romines. "It's a huge win. We haven't had a whole lot of success in recent years, but we've played some really good basketball in the last three games."
Harris and company looked like they might have delivered a knockout blow with a 7-3 run to start the third period.
Shantel Potter, Harris' senior co-star, scored the first five Calvin points on a drive to the basket and a long 3-pointer. Harris later dished to teammate Maelei Carroll for an easy bucket that put Calvin ahead 36-18 at the 4:05 mark of the third period.
Seconds later, Harris was whistled for foul No. 4 and the game changed after that.
Tupelo outscored Calvin 26-5 over the final 12 minutes of the game in putting together its epic comeback.
Harris fouled out with 1:58 left in the contest and the Lady Bulldogs clinging to a 41-39 lead.
"We were obviously trying to get Harris in foul trouble. She's a great player and Potter is too, but we felt like our chances were really good with Harris fouling out," Romines said.
According to Romines, it was junior Shalyn McCollum led the THS turnaround.
"The key was getting the ball to Shay McCollum in the middle of the paint and her attacking," he said.
Tupelo scored the final 12 points of the third quarter to get within 36-30 heading into the fourth period.
Breonna D'Aguanno drilled a 3-pointer at the 5:50 mark that forged the first tie of the second half at 37-37.
After Harris scored her final basket, McCollum answered on the other end to make it 39-39.
Calvin's final points of the game came from Tessa Ethelbah on a short jumper created by a Harris assist with 3:35 left.
Kylee Watson scored on an inbounds play with just under two minutes to play to tie the game at 41-41.
After an illegal screen gave Tupelo the ball, McCollum drove down the lane and hit what turned out to be the game-winning layup with 22.5 ticks left.
Potter missed a 3-pointer for the Lady Bulldogs and Calvin was forced to foul McCollum with 4.9 seconds left. She made the first free throw but missed the second.
Carroll grabbed the relay and quickly got the ball in Potter's hands, but her 26-foot shot at the buzzer clanged off the rim.
McCollum led the Tupelo offense with a game-high 20 points but had scored just five points during the first two quarters. Calvin led 29-15 aft halftime thanks to a 15-3 advantage in the second period. She also had eight rebounds.
Watson also overcame a slow start (three first-half points) and finished with 13 points, seven rebounds and three steals. D'Aguanno added eight points on a pair of 3-pointers.
Harris finished with 10 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, three steals and four blocked shots before fouling out for Calvin. Carroll — a freshman — hit 5-of-9 field goals and led the Lady Bulldogs with 11 points. Potter and Ethelbah scored 10 points each.
The Lady Bulldogs are officially coached by boys coach Keith Florie, but Ada High graduate Kaley Watkins joined the program in early February.
"She's really talented — especially for how young she is — and has been a big help to us," Florie said.
Watkins — who has run several practices, studied game tape and even took the lead role on the court for a few regular-season outings — said she's enjoyed her run with the Lady Bulldogs.
"It's been one to remember for sure. The girls taught me a lot and I hope I taught them a lot," she said.
No. 15 Moyers sinks Tupelo boys
HARTSHORNE — The Tupelo Tigers got off to a slow start in the fourth quarter and couldn't catch No. 15 Moyers down the stretch in a low-scoring 40-33 setback in a Class B Regional Tournament elimination game Friday night inside the Hartshorne Event Center.C
Clay Weller watched his team's season come to a 13-14 end, while the Moyers Tigers advanced at 21-7.
Moyers led 21-19 at halftime and after both teams managed just four third-quarter points each, the MHS club was on top 25-23 heading to the final frame.
Moyers opened the fourth quarter with a 9-0 run. Braden Shaw made the first of two free throws with 5:06 left and teammate Joedy Hopson came down with the rebound. He lofted a shot toward the goal that rattled home and gave Moyers a 34-23 lead.
Bentley Bills scored on a putback and followed with a 3-pointer with 40.9 seconds left that got Tupelo within 36-31, but Weller's bunch couldn't get closer.
Shaw and teammate Fischer Stundridge both hit free throws in the closing seconds to keep Tupelo at bay.
Shaw finished with 18 points, five rebounds and three steals to lead Moyers, while Stundridge followed with 13 points and five boards.
Moyers took advantage of an ice-cold Tupelo start to the game to build a 10-0 lead. The Tigers began the contest by missing their first seven shots and also had three turnovers during that span.
Tupelo responded with a 10-0 run of its own, capped by four points by Michael Moralez to start the second quarter. It was a back-and-forth affair from there until the fourth period.
Gonzalez led the THS offense with 13 points and also had five rebounds. Cody Airington added eight points and five more boards for the locals.
The Tigers were a frigid 2-of-18 (11.1%) from 3-pointer land compared to a 7-of-16 (43.8%) showing by Moyers.