It pays off to have a deep bench in a hard-fought basketball game. Especially one that goes to overtime.
With a roster of nine, the Colfax-Mingo girls basketball team doesn't have that luxury.
And that's what made its 34-31 overtime win over Greene County (Jefferson) all the more impressive.
The Tigerhawks rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit to take a one-point lead into the fourth quarter. They battled the Rams (3-1) for those eight minutes and then for four extra, outscoring Greene County 5-2 in the overtime session to hand it its first loss.
It was Colfax-Mingo's first win of the season, and snapped an eight-game losing streak dating back to last season.
"This year our numbers are way down," Tigerhawks head coach Brandon Smith said. "We've struggled some as the game has progressed. Against some teams we were definitely in games and then fell off the cliff a little in the fourth quarter. To play solid in the second half all the way to the end and even go to overtime — I'm so proud of the girls."
C-M senior Nicolette Husson — who had 20 of the Tigerhawks' 34 points — said the team's motivation was simple.
"I think we were just playing our butts off because we were tired of losing," she said.
Colfax-Mingo (1-4) was coming coming off a 64-46 loss Saturday in which it had the lead midway through the third quarter before getting routed down the stretch. Tuesday was a different story. The Tigerhawks outscored Greene County 14-3 in the third quarter and held it to just seven points after halftime.
Husson had four of C-M’s five points in OT, including two big free throws with 6.8 seconds left that game it a three-point lead. The Rams’ attempted 3-pointer air-balled to end the game.
“It feels really good, especially to knock (Greene County) off because they were undefeated,” Husson said. “It shows we can be good.”
Husson also had 12 rebounds, five steals and had two big blocks in OT.
The game was the Rams’ in the first half. They got out to a 13-3 lead before Colfax-Mingo scored eight straight points on two Husson baskets and a 3-pointer from junior Jena Teed. But with the help of numerous Tigerhawks traveling violations, Greene County outscored C-M 10-2 the remainder of the half to take a 23-12 lead into the break.
But it was all Tigerhawks in the third quarter. They limited their turnovers, shut down the Rams, got in an offensive rhythm and stole the game’s momentum as they outscored Greene County 14-3 in the frame. Husson had her team’s first six points, while freshman Jessica Albright, Quick, senior Sydnie Fahrney and sophomore Sara Lahart each had a basket.
“We were traveling way too much in the first half,” Smith said. “We reminded them to get the ball reversed. Once we did that, we got wide-open shots, drives and kicks. When we do that, we can be successful shooting it.”
The rest of the game was about as defensive as one could be. The Rams only made two baskets in the fourth quarter, and the Tigerhawks had just one and a free throw to make the score 29-29 with 1:47 left. C-M eventually held for the last shot, but couldn’t get a good one off at the buzzer.
That sent the game to OT, where a Husson basket and a free throw from Quick gave the Tigerhawks a 3-point lead at 32-29 with 1 minute remaining. Greene County scored its final points on a basket with 30 seconds left, and junior Jade Lewis pulled down a big defensive rebound to that led to Husson going 2-for-2 at the line with 6.8 seconds left. That set up the Rams’ last shot, which was well off-target.
Colfax-Mingo 34, Greene County 31 (OT)
GC — 13 10 3 4 2 — 31
CM — 5 7 14 3 5 — 34
CM scorers — Husson 20, Fahrney 4, Quick 3, Teed 3, Lahart 2, Albright 2.