No. 1 Wall Makes Second Half Comeback, Falls in Overtime Heartbreaker
SAN ANTONIO, TX -- The top-ranked Wall Lady Hawks overcame a 12-point deficit in the second half before eventually falling 53-49 in overtime to no. 2 Mount Pleasant Chapel Hill.
"I was so proud of the way we responded in the second half to have a chance," Wall head coach Tate Lombard said. "That was the biggest thing we said at halftime, give us a chance and we did. That was a credit to [Sawyer Lloyd, Sam Rocha, Jayden Fiebiger] and the rest of the team for making a run."
Wall went on a 11-0 run from late in the third quarter into the fourth quarter to pull within 43-42. Chapel Hill extended its lead to four points at 46-42 before Wall went on a 6-0 run to take a 48-46 lead with 43 seconds left in the game. Chapel Hill's Kaylyn Tompkins would tie the game up with seven seconds left before each team missed last chance shots to win the game in regulation.
Senior Sam Rocha did all she could with her double-double of 24 points and 11 rebounds for the Lady Hawks. Heading into the game, head coach Tate Lombard knew the 6-1 senior would be the focal point of the offense.
"We were thinking that's one of our advantages. We have a really good post game," Lombard said. "We knew they'd be trying to take it away. But I think we did a great job, even Haley Palmore came in and scored two big buckets in the first half. We thought we could get that more than we probably did, but we knew we could get the ball inside if we were just patient enough."
Wall scored 32 of their 49 points inside the paint. But those points didn't come easy for the likes of Wall's Rocha, Fiebiger and Palmore.
"I thought they played really good defense on our posts," Rocha said. "They had a few different girls guarding us, so it was hard to see how they would guard us and figure out how to get open a lot."
But it was a struggle in the first half for Wall. They committed four turnovers while forcing four from Chapel Hill. That meant neither team could exactly find a rhythm early on.
After trailing 10-9 to start the second, Chapel Hill then found their rhythm offensive while keeping the Lady Hawks off theirs. The Lady Devils went 2-for-3 from behind the three-point line to outscore Wall 20-12 and take a 29-22 lead into halftime.
"[Chapel Hill] got off to a great start. We had a hard time guarding them at times," Lombard said. "They had some long possessions where I think we were impatient defensively. We tried to make a quick stop instead of being solid and finishing with some rebounds. But credit to them, they executed their gameplan."
Wall finishes the season 32-2 after winning the program's 11th straight district title and making the state tournament for the eighth time in school history.