KVA’s upset bid falls short vs Cary Christian
Kerr-Vance coach Brian Russell wasn’t sure where his team’s second half performance came from, but his Spartans nearly pulled off a stunner Friday over Cary Christian, the top team in the 2-A Eastern Plains Independent Conference.
KVA rallied to force overtime on Senior Night before the Knights pulled away for a 46-40 win in the extra session.
“We had them on the ropes,” said Russell. “We just ran out of steam in overtime.”
Cary Christian’s dominating post player, Amy VanDeventer, scored six of her 20 points in overtime. The King College (Bristol, Tenn.) recruit also had 14 rebounds.
“I knew when it went into overtime it was going to be an uphill battle for us,” said Russell.
KVA trailed 25-13 at halftime before holding the visitors to four third quarter points, down 29-26 entering the fourth quarter.
Spartan senior Hannah Abbott nailed a 3-pointer from the left wing with 21 seconds left in regulation to give KVA a 35-34 lead.
“That’s a huge shot,” said Russell. “She did the right thing. She just didn’t think, she just took it. She didn’t hesitate.”
VanDeventer split at the free throw line with 12.6 seconds left to knot the game.
The Knights came away with a steal on the Spartans’ ensuing possession, but traveling was called with 0.3 seconds on the clock.
KVA couldn’t get a shot off and the game went to OT.
Abbott is joined in the Spartan senior class by Jessica Darnell.
“I know we didn’t win, but it’s a really great feeling for the two girls, Jessica and Hannah,” said Russell. “They’ve been in the program since seventh grade.”
Russell said the boisterous Senior Night crowd that packed Crawford Gym energized his squad.
“It’s an emotional night to begin with and that made it even more exciting,” said Russell. “And I know that that helped us. We kept hanging in there and the crowd started to get into it. So it was fun.”
Rebecca Ross led KVA with 10 points and Rachel Ross had nine.
KVA will play away Tuesday, likely at St. David’s, in the first round of the conference tournament.
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