Not a lot of things had gone right for Bellarmine Prep in the last two weeks. First, they lost starting point guard Jasmyne Holmes to injury, and then fell to Yelm at home in the season’s final game to settle for second in the Narrows 4A. If that was not enough, they would have to face Rogers and their sharpshooting guard Leigha Stroh – who broke Bellarmine’s heart in last year’s district playoffs.
But Bellarmine freshman Jayana Ervin would have nothing of it. She would go coast-to-coast for a layup with 0.5 seconds left in overtime to pull out a 41-39 win over the Rams at home on Feb. 12.
“We didn’t play very well tonight, but we found a way to win it in overtime,” said veteran Lady Lion head coach Kevin Meines, who was more than just a little relieved at game’s end. “It was really sloppy at times, but our kids got tough late in the game.”
Both teams had trouble handling the rock in the first half, with Rogers clinging to a 20-15 lead at the break. But the second half took on a different look, with both teams having trouble finding the bottom of the net.
With the Lady Lions struggling minus the ball handling abilities of Holmes, leading scorer Sydney Swofford could not find any offensive consistency, going 0-for-7 from the field. With the game tied 31-31 heading into overtime, Rogers got out of the gate fast, scoring the first five points for a 36-31 lead. The Lady Lions would come all the way back to tie it at 39-39 with under a minute left on Ionna Price’s layup. After a Rogers miss on the offensive end, Ervin would perform her heroics to propel the Lions to the win.
“I just got the ball and told myself that I had to make a play for the win,” Ervin said. “Like (Minnesota Vikings running back) Adrian Peterson, I just got in the ‘don’t think, just do it’ mode, and helped my team to the win.”
Price led the Lions with 14 points, while Stroh had 11 points for Rogers. The win set the Lions up to play top-ranked Mount Rainier in the district quarterfinals at Stadium High School on Feb. 15 at 7:45 p.m.
“It’ll take our best effort against a great Mt. Rainier team,” Meines said. “Our girls should be pumped up for the opportunity.”
By Steve Mullen
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