The lead went back-and-forth until Rachel Irby hit the game-winning layup with 20 seconds left in the second overtime to beat Pebblebrook 49-47 on Saturday in the first round of the Region 4AAAAAA tournament at McEachern High School.
“That was wild,” Kennesaw Mountain coach Jeff Mayr said. “They played their hearts out. We had freshmen and sophomores play down the stretch.”
The Lady Mustangs will face Hillgrove on Monday in the quarterfinals.
Sophomore Anna Stewart led Kennesaw Mountain with 24 points and she hit one of two free throws with 12 seconds left in regulation to go ahead 36-34, hoping that would be enough, but Ruff’s shot at the buzzer tied it at 36-all at the buzzer.
All points during the first overtime were scored at the free-throw line, ending in a 5-5 stalemate. Whitney Young, who scored 15 points for the Lady Falcons, hit a pair of free throws in the final minute to give her team a 40-39 edge. Ruff, who led with 16 points and 14 rebounds, went 1-of-2 from the line for a two-point lead, but Stewart retaliated for Kennesaw Mountain with a pair of free throws of her own to extend the game.
The second overtime period began with a Ruff jumper to give Pebblebrook the early lead but the momentum shifted in the Lady Mustangs’ favor when Stewart nailed a 3-pointer from the right wing for a 44-43 lead. Kennesaw held the lead until Ruff scored on a putback to tie it at 47-all with 30 seconds left before Irby delivered her game-winning layup.
Kennesaw Mountain followed with a defensive stop when it needed it most, denying Pebblebrook a solid look before time expired.
“We just made a couple of stops,” Mayr said. “I’m happy for the girls. They’re excited.”
Irby finished with 10 points for Kennesaw Mountain and Precious Walker had 8 points and eight rebounds for the Lady Falcons.
North Cobb 56, South Cobb 33: North Cobb scored 21 unanswered points starting at the tail end of the first quarter to build a comfortable 22-point lead before holding on to win.
North Cobb will face Campbell on Tuesday in the 4AAAAAA quarterfinals.
Although South Cobb fought back in the third quarter and cut the lead to 13 points early in the fourth, the Lady Warriors followed with another spurt to put the game out of reach.
Aniya Corley led North Cobb with 19 points. Chantel Strahorn finished with 17 and Kyrie’ Chandler was also in double figures with 13.
North Cobb’s 21-point run included a pair of 3-pointers by Strahorn and another by Corley. The run began in the final minute of the first quarter after South Cobb’s China Richards nailed back-to-back 3s to give the Lady Eagles a brief 7-6 lead.
North Cobb came out flat in the second half and was 2-for-18 from the field in the third quarter and the early portion of the fourth. Once South Cobb cut the lead to 13 on two free throws by JaCarey Heard, North Cobb began hitting shots and embarked on a 17-0 run to seal the win.
Alexandria Brown led South Cobb with 15 points and Richards added 11.