Charlottesville got a Herculean effort from Carmella Jackson and withstood a similar one from Western Albemarle’s Elisabeth Coffman to stave off the Warriors 59-52 in overtime in the semifinals of the Daily Progress Holiday Hoops Classic.
Jackson, who had a game-high 23 points, converted an old-fashioned three-point play with 14.5 seconds to play in regulation to give CHS a one-point lead. But Annie Meenan drove down the floor for Western and was fouled, splitting the pair to force overtime with the score tied at 48.
“[Carmella] was everywhere tonight on both ends,” CHS head coach Jim Daly said. “Her aggression, her determination, guarding Coffman who’s probably the best guard we go against year in year out. And also knocking down foul shots–we needed every point we could get tonight.
Western momentarily took the lead in the extra period on a pair of foul shots from Sydney Sherman. After the Black Knights split a pair, Jess Antwi converted a pair of layups with to give CHS the lead for good with just over two minutes to play, allowing the Black Knights to advance to Saturday’s title game against William Monroe.
Western, which will take on Brooke Point in the third-place game, had battled back from a nine-point deficit early in the fourth quarter largely on the shoulders of Coffman. The Warriors’ point guard, after being sidelined for a good portion of the first half due to foul trouble, sank a layup and then a pair of three-pointers, the final one capping a 12-2 run to tie the game at 42-all with three minutes to go. WAHS forged ahead on a nice give-and-go from Coffman to Sherman, and the game remained neck-and-neck till the end.
“I thought we put forth a lot of effort, and I thought we played really smart especially in overtime,” Daly said. “We ran clock, we got to the foul line, and we made our foul shots. I thought we executed really well with the lead.”
The Black Knights also forced 22 Western turnovers.
“Western is so good at what they do,” Daly said. “We were just trying to get them to do things they’re not so good at. Ball pressure was one of the biggest differences tonight.”
The first half was similarly tight — Western led 13-11 after one quarter thanks to nine first-quarter points from Coffman. But she picked up her second foul and was soon sent to the bench, where she remained for much of the remainder of the half.
“Elisabeth is outstanding. We trust her to make decisions, and she made a lot of good ones tonight,” WAHS coach Kris Wright said. “We’d like to cut those fouls back so that we can have her out there as much as possible. She does so many things extremely well for us.”
Sherman stepped up, burying a three with 2:30 to go before halftime, but CHS held the Warriors without a field goal for the rest of the half en route to a 24-23 halftime lead, which they took on a basket by Jackson.
The Knights then opened the second half on a 9-2 run, a run during which Coffman picked up her third foul. She fouled out shortly into overtime after registering 21 points. Sherman added 12 along with nine rebounds and four blocks while Meenan chipped in 10 for the Warriors. In addition to Jackson’s output, T.C. Younger scored nine points and Tatianna Allen-Taylor eight for the Black Knights.