Baylor Girls Beat Knox Catholic In 3 Overtimes

Baylor Boys Also Prevail By 64-57 Final

  • Tuesday, February 7, 2023
  • John Hunt

Tuesday, February 7 was a great day to be a Baylor Red Raider, especially if you’re a basketball fan.

Facing region foe Knoxville Catholic at Baylor’s Jimmy Duke Arena/Austin Clark Court, both Baylor teams prevailed with outstanding play on both sides.

It all began with the Lady Red Raiders as they needed three overtimes before prevailing by a 71-66 final. And then in the second game, Baylor’s boys overcame a four-point halftime deficit to defeat the Irish by a 64-57 final.

BAYLOR GIRLS 71, CATHOLIC 66: The Baylor girls did a lot of bending, but not one time did they break as they just kept battling and simply refused to lose.

Baylor coach John Gibson was almost speechless following the game where his girls improved to 14-11 and 4-2 in region play.

“I’m so proud of them as they just kept fighting and kept fighting. We snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, but it was one of those games that could have gone either way several times,” the former UTC standout said afterward.

“We’ve had a tough three-week stretch with a lot of big games, but we just did what we had to do tonight and I’m so proud of the twins for the job they did on Sydney Mains,” he said in reference to Ellie Carico and her twin Emery for the way they made Catholic’s leading scorer work for every point.

“We had a big win at GPS last night and may have been a little tired, but we quit being scared about midway through the second quarter when we finally figured that we could play with them.

“But we had a bunch of kids who stepped up tonight and pulled us through when it counted most,” Gibson added.

Catholic coach Travis May didn’t offer any excuses after his team lost its first region game after five wins and dropped to 14-12 overall.

“We just made too many mistakes. We really wanted to win this game on the road, but we’ll move on. We had our chances, but things just didn’t go our way,” he nodded.

This was one of those games that looked like a title fight where Baylor was up against the ropes on several occasions, but never went down. Somehow and someway, the Lady Raiders found a way to pull it out.

Sloane Watson nailed a 3 from the wing with 2:28 left in regulation to give Baylor a 48-42 lead before the Lady Irish scored the final six points. Mains had one final shot just before the horn, but it didn’t go in.

Hadleigh Warton sank two free throws at the start of the first overtime for a 50-48 Baylor lead, but again, the Lady Irish scored six straight points and had a seemingly-comfortable 54-40 lead with 36.6 seconds left following two charity tosses by Maggie Frana.

Bella White hit two free throws with 15.6 seconds left to make it 54-52 before Main sank two free throws four seconds later.

Warton’s two freebies with 6.8 seconds left got Baylor to within two and a jump ball shortly afterward gave the ball back to Baylor on the alternate possession.

With the clock winding down, Holly Merritt sank a short jumper in the lane at the buzzer to force the second overtime.

A 3 by Riley Oleksik with 21 seconds left put Baylor up by two, but Frana scored on a putback at the buzzer to send the game into the third extra period.

Frana scored at the start of the final four-minute period for a 63-61 Catholic lead before Baylor took the lead for the last time with five unanswered points.

Three free throws by the Lady Irish knotted the score for the final time at 66-66 with just over a minute remaining, but two free throws by Warton, one by Emery Carico and a layup by Watson was the final knife in the coffin as Catholic didn’t score again.

White had 18 points to lead Baylor while Oleksik had 16 and Warton 15. Merritt was also in double digits with 11 while Watson finished with nine.

Mains led Catholic with 15 points while Frana had 14, Jaz Williams 13 and Logan Connaster 10.

BAYLOR BOYS 64, KNOX CATHOLIC 57: This game wasn’t half as exciting as the girls, but it was still a rewarding win for the Red Raiders as they avenged a four-point loss in Knoxville after overcoming a 33-29 deficit at intermission.

Both teams scored 14 points in the third quarter before Baylor took charge in the final stanza, grabbing the lead for the last time when Zane Restelli bagged a 3 from the wing with 3:50 to play for a 54-53 advantage.

Six more unanswered points extended the lead to 60-53 in the final minute and it never got any closer as Baylor improved to 16-6 overall and 5-1 in region play.

“We got behind early, but we just kept battling as we weren’t playing that bad,” said Baylor coach Mark Price shortly after the final horn sounded.

“These guys work extremely hard in practice every day and that carries over to our games. This team has really gotten better in the last three weeks as we have great unity.

“They like being with each other off the court and they like playing together on it, so that makes a huge difference in our success. We still have some big games at Chattanooga Christian on Thursday and then here next Friday against Knoxville Webb, but we’re in a good place right now and we’re headed in the right direction at the right time,” Price added.

Restelli had 11 points in the first half before finishing with 25 to lead Baylor’s scoring. Nyziah Whaley was next with 15 while Cameron Sparks added nine.

Deondrea Lindsey had 21 points to lead Catholic while Yesan Warren and Caleb Asbaty were also in double figures with 12 and 10 points, respectively.

GIRLS SUMMARY

KNOX. CATHOLIC 10 14 11 13 8 5 5 -- 66

BAYLOR 11 8 16 13 8 5 10 -- 71

CATHOLIC (66) – Mitchell 3, Jaz Wlliams 13, Logan Connaster 10, Krueger 7, Perry, Walker, Redd 4, Sydney Mains 15, Maggie Frana 14.

BAYLOR (71) – El. Carico 1, Riley Oleksik 16, Em. Carico 1, Bella White 18, Hadleigh Warton 15, Holly Merritt 11, Watson 9.

3-POINT GOALS: Catholic 4 (Mitchell, Connaster 2, Mains); Baylor 6 (Oleksik 4, Warton, Watson).

BOYS SUMMARY

KNOX. CATHOLIC 17 16 14 10 -- 57

BAYLOR 12 17 14 21 -- 64

CATHOLIC (57) – Eleam 4, Deondrea Lindsey 21, Yesan Warren 12, Murphy 3, Pannell 8, Caleb Asbaty 10, Doerger.

BAYLOR (64) – Barton 6, Zane Restelli 25, Sparks 9, Rego 2, Fields, Shutters 4, Nyziah Whaley 15, Ucieszynski 3.

3-POINT GOALS: Catholic 5 (Lindsey, Murphy, Pannell 2, Asbaty); Baylor 10 (Barton 2, Restelli 5, Sparks, Whaley, Ucieszynski).

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@gmail.com)

Prep Sports
PREP SCHEDULES
  • 3/31/2023

Prep Schedules: Week of March 20th All times are local BASEBALL WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22 Hixson at East Hamilton CSAS at Sale Creek Pisgah (AL) at South Pittsburg ... more

McCallie Posts Tennis Win; Soddy, Hixson Split
  • 3/23/2023

McCallie Tennis continued its winning ways on Thursday afternoon with a 7-0 region victory over Knoxville Webb. Playing its first outdoor home match of the year, the Blue Tornado won all three ... more

BASEBALL/SOFTBALL ROUND-UP: Thursday, March 23rd
  • 3/23/2023

Baseball/Softball Round-up: Thursday March 23, 2023 BASEBALL Walker Valley 1, McCallie 0 Walker Valley's Chipper Franks and McCallie's Hudson Calhoun locked up in a pitching duel before ... more