ANDOVER — Casyn Buchman got the ball on McPherson's first possession of overtime and saw that Andover point guard Catherine Cranmer stepped up to guard her with four fouls.
Buchman didn't hesitate, taking it strong to Cranmer and drawing the foul. Andover's primary ball handler was forced to watch from the bench as her team was held without a field goal in overtime and fell 50-45 at home Tuesday night.
"We knew she was their key player to bring the ball up the court, and if they didn't have her it was going to be hard for them to break pressure," Buchman said. "We put the pressure on them. We got lucky and got the foul called."
Cranmer (13 points, five assists) scored five of Andover's fourth-quarter points. Her three-point shot to begin the fourth quarter gave Andover a 41-37 lead, but Buchman methodically picked apart Andover's defense. She scored seven points in the final eight minutes and hit a layup with nine seconds left to tie the score at 44. Just seconds before, Andover's Taylor Tilson (5 points) missed the second of two free throws that could have made it a three-point game.
"She's a really strong player," Cranmer said. "She's tough to guard. I did my best, but in the end it didn't come out how I wanted to."
In the overtime period, McPherson (3-1, 1-0 AV-CTL II) connected on 4 of 10 free throws and got a layup from Katelyn Loecker to outscore Andover 6-1. Loeker had a dominating game in the paint with 22 points and 20 rebounds. McPherson (17 for 36) was able to overcome a rough night at the foul line to get the win.
Buchman said she and her teammates didn't want a repeat of the 58-52 loss to Salina South that McPherson suffered in its season opener. That nail-biter hit hard in the McPherson locker room.
"We're not losing another game," Buchman said. "Or at least we're trying not to. Entering overtime we were like, 'This is our time. This is our opportunity.' We knew if we got their key players out then we would have a good chance to win."
Andover (2-1, 0-1) found its offense from Audrey Meisch (nine points) in the first half. Meisch, who'd struggled in the two previous games, was 3 for 4 from three-point range. Cranmer kept finding ways to penetrate and get Meisch the ball. McPherson held Meisch down in the second half.
"It was nice to contribute to the team," Meisch said. "I wanted to show I have potential and prove I could effect the game."
McPherson (3-1, 1-0) 14 6 9 15 6 — 50 Andover (2-1, 0-1) 14 11 2 17 1 — 45
McPHERSON: Loving 3, Hein 2, Buchman 10, Bruner 4, Loecker 22, Gaeddert 4, Ruder 5. Totals 15 (3) 17-36 50.
ANDOVER: Meisch 9, Fritz 4, Cranmer 13, T. Tilson 5, Williams 8, Dick 6. Totals 14 (4) 13-21 45.