The Nampa High School gym was rocking Wednesday night.
Down 31-27 at the end of the third quarter, the Carey Panthers persevered in a barnburner and overcame a physical Mackay Miner team that was determined to not let Kylie Wood defeat them.
Wood and the Panthers would have their way, however, taking the first round of the Idaho High School Activities Association 1AD2 Girls Real Dairy Shootout in overtime, 50-46.
Wood finished the night as the game’s best player, with 30 points and 10 rebounds.
However, the star senior didn’t have the greatest shooting night. She only went 7-for-29 from the field and 3-for-12 from three-point land, but she willed the Panthers to the win by making the shots when it counted, totaling 17 points in the second half.
Even though Wood’s scoring led the charge, it was Carey’s role players that made timely plays when it counted.
“The girls never quit,” Carey head coach Merilee Sears said. “We had some players step up and hit huge shots at crucial times. Great team game.”
Sophomores Jane Parke (10 points, eight rebounds) and Berenice Vargas (five points, five rebounds, four steals) made big plays in the fourth quarter and in overtime.
With 5:30 left in the fourth quarter, Vargas hit her only three-pointer of the game to tie the contest at 33-33.
Carey then took its first lead of the second half when Parke nailed two free throws to put the Panthers up 35-33.
Then moments later Wood got a rebound off a missed shot only to take the ball coast-to-coast and nailed a baseline jump shot to increase Carey’s lead, 37-33.
With that 7-0 run, Carey gained the momentum it needed to fight back.
But Mackay quickly called a timeout and went on a run of its own. Down 40-38, Mackay’s Riley Moore (16 points, nine rebounds) hit a jump shot to tie the game at 40-all with three seconds of regulation left to send the game into overtime.
While in OT, the Panthers took advantage of Mackay’s mistakes. The Miners committed 21 turnovers in the game.
Foul trouble also doomed Mackay in the second half as the Miners amassed 10 team fouls at the beginning of the fourth quarter, which carried over into overtime.
Because of the fouls, Carey ultimately won the slugfest at the free throw line. Wood scored eight straight points from the line in overtime. She finished the night by going 13-for-20 from charity stripe.
Coming into the game, Sears was concerned with her team’s ability to rebound against Mackay. She was right. The Miners totaled 40 rebounds to Carey’s 33.
Mackay sophomore Megan Moore had six points but was a force on the boards with 16 rebounds. She also had four blocks.
Carey (10-2) will move onto the second round to take on Kendrick. That game is scheduled for 7 p.m. tip-off tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 18.
Mackay (18-4) will play Richfield at 2 p.m. on Thursday.