Ferriday’s Poole leads team to overtime win

Published 12:10 am Friday, February 19, 2010

FERRIDAY — With Ferriday’s playoff lives on the line, Lady Trojan point guard Chante Poole knew she wasn’t about to let her team lose.

Poole scored on a three-point play with 8 seconds remaining to tie the game and then scored the only two points in overtime — all while battling leg cramps — as the Lady Trojans escaped with a 50-48 win over Springfield in the first round of the LHSAA Class 2A playoffs.

“She was cramping up in the second half,” Ferriday coach Lisa Abron said. “But she told me she wasn’t coming out of the game. She showed a lot of heart and put the team on her shoulders.”

And at no time was that more evident than at the end of regulation.

Springfield was up 48-45 with the ball when they were called for a traveling violation with 13.3 seconds left.

Abron called timeout and told Poole to get the ball to the hoop.

Poole did just that, as she took the inbounds pass and slashed her way to the basket, laying the ball in the hoop as she was fouled.

“That play worked perfectly,” Abron said. “I told her to drive to the basket because Springfield wasn’t moving their feet well and I didn’t think they could stay with her. She did a great job getting to the basket and drawing the foul.”

But the basket only brought the Lady Trojans to within one point. Poole still had to make the free throw to force overtime.

“There was a lot of pressure,” Poole said of the free throw attempt. “But I just had to concentrate on making it and tune the crowd out.”

The concentration worked as Poole swished the free throw to tie the score.

Ferriday actually had a chance to win the game in regulation as T’Keyah Fletcher stole the Springfield inbounds pass and was fouled with 5 seconds left.

But she missed the front end of a one and one and Springfield’s halfcourt heave at the buzzer was off the mark.

The overtime period was played at a much slower pace than the final minutes of the fourth quarter, with each team content to take time off the clock on each possession.

The only basket of overtime was made by Poole on another driving layup with 1:08 remaining.

Springfield had one final chance to send the game to a second overtime in the final seconds, but Bryanca Norman missed a contested layup with 5.2 seconds left and the Lady Trojans were able to escape with the win.

“We’ve never been in this situation before where we had to fight back and send it to overtime,” Abron said. “And what’s at stake is huge. I can’t even imagine what was going on in (the players) minds.”

For the longest time, it looked like Ferriday wouldn’t need a last second comeback to win the game.

After the first quarter ended in a 10-10 tie, the Lady Trojans scored the first 14 points of the second quarter to build a large lead and took a 26-18 lead into halftime.

Ferriday maintained its lead in the third quarter and entered the final period up 37-31.

However, that’s when Springfield’s offense started to heat up.

The Lady Bulldogs hit four 3-pointers in the final quarter and also crashed the offensive boards to overcome the six-point deficit and take a 48-43 lead with 1:30 remaining.

“I have to give credit to Springfield,” Abron said. “They never gave up. They have some very good 3-point shooters and we knew that. At times we did well defending them and at times we went to sleep. They made us pay for that several times in the fourth quarter.”

But in the end, it was Poole that bailed out Ferriday with her last-second score.

Poole led Ferriday with 21 points while Jasmine Butler had 10 and Fletcher added eight.

The No. 12 seed Lady Trojans (19-7) will now travel to play the fifth seeded John Curtis in the second round on Monday.

“I didn’t want it to be over tonight,” Abron said. “I’m so happy that we were able to overcome and advance to the next round.”