Check out some of the top plays of the area's biggest girls basketball rivalry game. Video by Lindsey Smith
The Southern Fulton-McConnellsburg girls basketball rivalry is like something out of a Hollywood film.
The intensity in the gym when the other comes to town is unparalleled, and even though many of the players are friends off the court - they are truly enemies on. So it was only fitting that the season finale of the Southern Fulton-McConnellsburg rivalry would be one of the most intense girls basketball games of the year.
Thursday, despite a valiant efforts from the Lady Spartans, Southern Fulton claimed its second victory of the season over McConnellsburg in an overtime thriller, 78-69, in a Sideling Hill League/Inter-County Conference game.
McConnellsburg struggled throughout the second half dealing with a slew of fouls, which put the team in a tight spot in the fourth quarter. But down by nine at the start of the fourth, the Spartans made up for lost time thanks in part to a clutch play by Bronwyne Mellott in the final seconds of the game.
Mellott sank an NBA 3-pointer with 13 seconds left on the clock to tie the game at 67 and force overtime.
"This is the tightest game we've had in a couple years," McConnellsburg coach Brent Seville said. "I don't think we've ever gone into overtime (with SF) so this was a good test for them and they were able to bounce back in that fourth quarter."
But things began to unravel for McConnellsburg (10-6, 6-5 SHL, 4-5 ICC) early in the overtime period. Already without senior starter Bridgette Ritchey, who fouled out in the fourth quarter, and freshman Katelyn Truax, who took a seat with an injury, the Spartans were hurting. Then when Mellott fouled out in the first minute of overtime, Southern Fulton was able to capitalize.
"We weren't hitting our shots tonight," McConnellsburg's McKenzie Gelvin said. "And when you get Bronwyne out of the game things start to fall apart a little bit."
Southern Fulton (12-6, 10-4 SHL, 9-4 ICC) put the game away in overtime thanks to multiple free-throw opportunities. The Indians went 7-for-12 from the line in OT to give them the edge, while Gelvin knocked in McConnellsburg's only points in extra time on a fast-break layup.
"We knew we really had to get on the line, and it really helped that Bronwyne fouled out at the end," Southern Fulton's Olivia Mottern said. "Endurance-wise, our conditioning throughout the offseason really helped us tonight because for me it was pretty easy to get up and down the floor in overtime."
"The girls needed to get defensive stops tonight, and the McConnellsburg team is a great foul shooting team, so I just knew it was going to be a tight one," Southern Fulton coach Meagan Mellott said. "And unlike McConnellsburg, we've been in quite a few overtime games over the last two years, so maybe that was a factor, I'm not sure, but we just buckled down and played our game."
NOTES: Bronwyne Mellott scored 33 points for the Spartans, while Gelvin added 17, followed by Justice Seville with 10 ... Mottern led the Indians with 26 points, including a perfect 9-for-9 from the foul line ... Drew Hann had a big night for the Indians, putting up 19 points thanks to five 3-pointers.