AMHERST — Stasha Carey, Midpark’s 6-foot-3 junior post, said foul shooting is not her forte.
“Foul shots, I’m not the best at,” she said Wednesday night.
Midpark didn’t shoot a foul shot in the first half of its Southwestern Conference showdown with Amherst. But in the second half, Carey made 10 straight without a miss and the Meteors nailed 17 of 18 to pull away in overtime for a 44-38 victory.
The Meteors (15-4, 13-0) haven’t lost an SWC game in three seasons and sealed their third straight conference title. The Comets dropped to 15-4, 10-3 in the conference.
“It was nerve-wracking,” Carey said of her trips to the line. “Luckily I did make those. I was feeling confident when I shot them, so it worked out.”
The game was physical and fan-friendly and ever so even a matchup. Amherst led 7-6 after a quarter, Midpark 14-13 at the half, the Comets 27-25 after three quarters and it was 34-34 at the end of regulation.
It looked as though Amherst might pull it out after Brianna Shagovac hit from the outside and Morgan Dziak put Comets fans on their feet when she followed with a long 3-pointer at 4:29 of the fourth quarter.
It put Amherst ahead 32-26, but the lead didn’t last long.
Midpark tied it with a 6-0 run that featured a basket by Jessica Barnes and four straight foul shots — two each by Carey and Megan Stornes.
Brooke Wallace, the Comets’ 6-2 sophomore post, got the go-ahead basket from close range with 1:33 left. But the Meteors’ Korie Maryo sent it into overtime with a putback with 31 seconds left. Amherst got off a shot that just missed at the buzzer.
The big girls — Amherst’s Wallace and Midpark’s Carey — staged a physical battle under the backboards. Carey finished with a game-high 20 points. Wallace and senior Sydney Failing scored 13 points apiece for the Comets.
“They were 17-of-18 at the foul line and that’s the difference in the game,” Amherst coach John Rositano said. “But that was a great high school basketball game. It was two really good teams going hard at it. I’m proud of the way our girls played. They competed and they battled.
“They’re in there crying right now because when you spill your guts out there, it hurts when you lose. That’s all you can ask as a coach. Just lay it out there and see what happens.”
Midpark coach Tom Thompson said his Meteors had to turn up the defensive pressure in overtime.
“I felt that late in the fourth quarter, they (Comets) got into their rhythm,” Thompson said. “They were kind of dictating what they wanted to do. I thought we had to break that, so we threw a little zone stuff at them just to try to mix some things up and it was effective for us.”
Contact Bob Daniels at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Midpark 44, Amherst 38 (OT)
MIDPARK (44): Megan Stornes 0-2-2, Jessica Barnes 5-2-12, Korie Maryo 3-1-8, Becca Ziska 0-0-0, Stasha Carey 5-10-20, Tianna Moody 0-2-2. Totals 13-17-44.
AMHERST (38): Sheridan Champe 0-2-2, Hannah Brosky 0-0-0, Brianna Shagovac 2-2-6, Morgan Dziak 1-0-3, Mallory Sliman 0-0-0, Sydney Failing 3-5-13, Megan Salisbury 0-1-1, Brooke Wallac 6-1-13. Totals 12-11-38.
Midpark 6 8 11 9 10 — 44
Amherst 7 6 14 7 4 — 38
Three-point goals: Midpark 1-13 (Maryo); Amherst 3-11 (Failing 2, Dziak). Field goals: Midpark 13-45 (28.9 percent); Amherst 12-48 (25 percent). Free throws: Midpark 17-18; Amherst 11-17. Rebounds: Midpark 32; Amherst 33. Turnovers: Midpark 20; Amherst 17.
Junior varsity: Amherst, 31-25.