Caney Valley and Fredonia split their boy-girl doubleheader Tuesday. The Yellowjackets claimed a 58-57 overtime victory in the girls ‘contest, while the Bullpups rebounded to take the boys’ contest 56-39.
The girls’ game was a picture-perfect example of a back-and-forth contest. Neither team built a lead bigger than 5 points at any point, and although both teams led at times, it was the Bullpups who led at the half, 27-26.
Both teams continued to strike back and forth in the second half, but Fredonia found themselves gathering steam throughout the final few minutes of the game. Toryn Spohn hit a three-pointer to take the lead with 49.7 seconds remaining, and when Caney struck back, Zoey Sims hit two clutch free throws to take a two-point lead once again.
Unfortunately for the Yellowjackets, there was to be no regulation time victory. A foul back the other way sent Deandrea O’Shields to the free throw line. She sank both, and a volleyball-line shot fell well short to send the game into overtime.
Fredonia trailed for most of the overtime period, but the Yellowjackets showed to be resilient and scrappy on the boards. A single possession, taking up a large chunk of the clock, saw Fredonia pick up several offensive rebounds and several chances. That eventually culminated in a Natalie Jenkins three-pointer that brought Fredonia back within 1.
The games’ final minute saw both teams push the tempo, but it was Fredonia’s Madison Jenkins who played the hero. With 10 seconds remaining, Jenkins pushed through the Caney defense for an open layup, giving Fredonia a 1-point lead. Caney’s final few chances at the basket were met with no success, giving the Yellowjackets a hard-fought 58-57 win.
Both teams put three scorers in double digits. Fredonia’s Zoey Sims and Caney’s Anna Washburn each led the way with 17. Furthermore, Fredonia’s Madison Jenkins (14) and Natalie Jenkins (11) provided a solid effort, while Caney was assisted by Rya Hightower (15) and Kamryn Kaminska (12).
The boys’ game was a game of momentum at first. The Bullpups came out quickly, outscoring the Yellowjackets 16-7 in the first quarter, and building upon that lead at the start of the second quarter. Jack Billingsley was particularly big for Caney’s early successes, hitting 5 three-pointers for 15 first half points. At one point, the Bullpups led by 14 points in the first half.
However, a switch was flipped midway through the second quarter, activating a up-till-then sleepy Fredonia offense. The Yellowjackets began to heat up from deep themselves, cutting into the deficit and eventually taking their first lead of the game. Caney did put themselves back on top to lead at the half, 26-25.
Fredonia came out of halftime looking to complete what would be considered by most to be the upset, but it just simply wasn’t meant to be. After an even start to the half, with Fredonia leading 31-30, Caney would finish out the contest outpacing the Yellowjackets 26-9. Tanner Rose, who had battled foul trouble for most of the night, got some measure of revenge in the form of several trips to the free throw line. He’d go a perfect 8-8, helping cap off an impressive 56-39 win.
Billingsley’s scoring effort did slow a bit in the second half, but he still led all scorers with 17. Fredonia’s Jeremiah Couch added 15 points in defeat.