Bishop Miege senior Madeline Homoly felt helpless.
For most of the Newton Invitational championship game on Saturday, Homoly had been a huge thorn in Andover Central’s side. But there she was, watching Central’s Amanda Kakoulias line up a free throw with less than a second remaining that could decide the battle of top-ranked teams.
And Homoly’s foul had put Kakoulias there.
“I was really freaking out,” Homoly said. “This was a big game and we wanted to stay undefeated.
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“I was really nervous and had just missed a free throw at the other end. I was not looking forward to going home with an ‘L’.”
But for the second time in the final 10 seconds of regulation, Kakoulias couldn’t connect and give Central a lead. Kakoulias also rebounded the missed free throw and rimmed out a hurried layup as the buzzer sounded.
Given the reprieve, Miege, No. 1 in the Class 4A-Division I coaches rankings, made the most of it. Miege outscored Central 17-4 in overtime for a 64-51 victory and its third consecutive Newton title.
“I don’t know if this game was just wasn’t meant for us to win,” said Central coach Stana Jefferson, whose team fell to 11-2, with both losses coming to No. 1 teams.
“I told the kids, ‘You know, someone’s got to lose.’ It sucks to lose and they hate to lose, but that’s why I like to coach them.”
Miege (12-0), which defeated Central 64-52 in the 4A-I semfinals last March, had a tougher time with the Jaguars in the rematch. But Homoly, a 6-foot-2 post player, pulled the Stags through with 32 points and 13 rebounds. Guards Shelbie Piggie and Huntler Bentley each added 12.
Miege got all of its points from its starters to overcome 25 points from Kakoulias. Kakoulias had just two at the break as Central trailed 24-17.
“We don’t come back unless they all do it together, but Amanda was a large part of it,” Jefferson said. “That girl can make plays.”
Kakoulias scored 10 in the third quarter as Central charged to a 36-34 lead. From that point to the end of regulation, neither team led by more than three and the score was tied four times.
But after Central stopped Miege on the opening possession of overtime, Kakoulias lost the ball after grabbing a rebound. Homoly turned it into a three-point play, and Miege never trailed again.
Homoly scored six points in the extra period and Miege made 13 of 15 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
“We were kind of struggling at the end (of regulation) with all the scrappy fouls,” Homoly said. “But in overtime, we definitely played like we usually do.”
Newton 60, Garden City 44 – Newton earned its second victory over Garden City this season in the third-place game behind 23 points from Taylor Stahly and 12 from Payton Roberts-Parker.
The Railers (8-5) led by as many as 15 points in the third quarter, but had to regroup after Garden City opened the fourth with a 9-1 run to cut its deficit to 43-38.
Stahly did her part to stop the run, scoring on a break. Abby Schmidt followed with two free throws.
“Garden City did some nice things, so it wasn’t just us,” Newton coach Randy Jordan said. “But we responded, and I can’t say enough about that.”
Abbie Dart scored 14 points to lead Garden City.
Kapaun 59, Carroll 48 – Kapaun’s coaches put their players through an exercise in self-analysis after the Crusaders’ quarterfinal loss to Garden City.
For senior Grace Hagan, an area of improvement for her was offense.
Hagan came through against Carroll, scoring 20 points as Kapaun (10-3) defeated the Golden Eagles for the second time this season and earned fifth place.
“I listed my area of strength as defense,” Hagan said. “I thought I could improve my offense, and it was about being more aggressive.”
Kapaun, which trailed for most of the first three quarters, generated offense at the free-throw line. The Crusaders made 33 of 42, and took control by holding Carroll (8-5) scoreless for more than seven minutes of the fourth.
Kapaun’s Sam Bachrodt added 18 points, including 12 of 14 free throws. Carroll got 17 points from Shelby Lopez.
BISHOP MIEGE: McFedders 6, Piggie 12, Bentley 12, Homoly 32, Lamaster-Stephens 2.
ANDOVER CENTRAL: Stamp 7, Anya 3, Pedersen 8, Kakoulias 25, Becca Schulte 4, Stearns 4.
GARDEN CITY: Munoz 4, Dart 14, Dreiling 2, Bernbeck 10, Carrillo 2, A.Elliott 1, Butler 9, B. Elliott 2.
NEWTON: Boston 8, Stahly 23, Bartel 4, Roberts-Parker 12, Akers 6, Antonowich 1, Schmidt 4, Berry 2.
KAPAUN: Born 3, Monty 8, Hagan 20, Dreiling 5, Bachrodt 18, Hastings 2, Harpel 3.
BISHOP CARROLL: Youngers 3, Lopez 17, Maul 8, B. Bockover 2, Carrillo 8, Sauber 4, W. Bockover 6.