Gosnell scored the last six points of the half, thanks to back-to-back three-pointers from Shanice McClain and Deneisha McBride, and took that momentum into the third period. Eventually, the Lady Pirates erased the deficit and finally pulled out a thrilling, 59-57, double-overtime win over the second place team in the 3-4A.
"I used some very motivational words at halftime" said Lady Pirate head coach Jenna Weeks. "I asked the seniors if they wanted to go out this way. You can only say so much. At some point, the girls have to go out and execute and they did in the second half. This was all on them."
One of those seniors who took Coach Weeks words to heart was Zena Bowman. Bowman exploded in the third period scoring the first 11 points of the period for the Lady Pirates, including a three-point play to open the half. The Lady Blazers only scored one basket over Bowman's run as the Lady Pirates cut an 11 point half time deficit to just tow at 31-29 with 3:56 to play in the third.
"She's been hit or miss all year and tonight she came through when we needed her the most," said Weeks.
Most of Bowman's points came on shots inside the paint. The extra post presence was a big help as the already injury-plagued Lady Pirates were without senior center Britany Taylor, who suffered a concussion last week at Brookland.
Gosnell trailed, 37-35, heading into the fourth but that didn't last long.
McClain opened the period with a three-point bomb giving the Lady Pirates their first lead of the night at 38-37. Bowman added to the lead a minute later before Valley ran off five in a row to take a 42-40 lead with two and a half minutes left in the game. Ashleigh Guthrie gave Valley View a 44-42 lead with a minute left. The Lady Blazers held on to the lead, and the ball, until Chandlor Kennemore blocked a pass underneath the Valley View basket that eventually ended up in the hands of Cara Feagin who charged down the court with under 15 seconds to play.
McClain rebounded a missed shot and put the ball in the basket with under four seconds left sending the game to overtime.
In the first overtime, McBride drained a three-pointer with :35 seconds left to give Gosnell a two-point lead but Guthrie tied it for the Blazers with 13 seconds left sending the game to a second extra session.
Guthrie, who led all scorers with 32 points, fouled out in the second overtime and the Lady Pirates took over. Kennemore's three-pointer with two and half minutes to play gave Gosnell a 55-54 lead and they would never trail again.
Ahead, 57-54, with less than 15 seconds to play, Lakeshia Robinson forced a Valley View turnover leading to a pair of McClain free throws with eight seconds left. McClain knocked them both down giving Gosnell a five-point lead. Hannah Acres' three for the Blazers as time expired meant little as the Lady Pirates celebrated their final home game of the season with a huge win.
"I'm proud of how the girls responded in the second half," said Weeks. "This was a big win over a good team. Hopefully we can used this going forward."
McClain led the Lady Pirates with 22 points including 3-4 free throw shooting with under 30 seconds left in the second overtime. Bowman scored 13 points, McBride added eight, Kira Hopkins scored seven and Kennemore chipped in six.
Gosnell improves to 5-9 in the 3-4A and will probably have the fifth seed heading into the district tournament in two weeks. The Lady Pirates finish the 3-4A schedule with a game at Trumann on Tuesday night.
Valley View 50, Gosnell 37
Valley View jumped out to an 18-5 first period lead and never looked back on their way to a 50-37 win over the Gosnell Lady Junior Pirates.
Valley View led 23-20 at half time and 38-27 heading into the fourth on their way to the win.
Krishon Hill led the Lady Pirates with 15 points and Brook Hill added five.
Harleigh Jones led Valley View with 20 and Amanda Meister added 13.