Despite having had a 21-point lead at one point, the North Callaway varsity girls basketball team allowed Harrisburg to come back and tie the game in the final minute of regulation on Monday in the first round of the Centralia 62nd Annual Tournament.
In an effort to control their own fate and have enough time left to actually respond, Harrisburg came out of a timeout and immediately fouled the Ladybird's Kenzie Ausfahl with :08.6 on the clock. That left the Lady Bulldogs rooting for a pair of quick misses so they could take one final shot. Instead, Ausfahl hit both free throws and Harrisburg barely got to half court before launching a hail mary that fell way short to allow North Callaway to claim a 49-47 victory.
The Ladybirds went up early in this game by outscoring the Lady Bulldogs 10-7 in the first quarter and 12-9 in the second to take a 22-16 lead into halftime. North Callaway then posted a 17-7 scoring advantage in the third to widen the gap between these teams to 39-23 before Harrisburg claimed the fourth with authority 24-10.
Marshalling this offensive parade for the Ladybird's was Kyla Bertschinger, who made 11-of-13 free throws to end up with 21 points, 10 rebounds and five steals. Allie Schlueter also went 9-of-12 from the charity stripe to score 12. As a team North Callaway was 28-for-41 from the free throw line.
For Harrisburg, 2-3 overall, Leah Barton had 16 points and Emma Barton managed 11 points.
The Ladybird's, 2-1 overall, play Macon in the tourney semifinals on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.