In a frenzied Tournament of Champions semifinal between local rivals, it took overtime to settle matters.
Van Buren began the overtime session by running off seven straight points, and it was enough to lift the Lady Pointers into today's TOC title game after outlasting the Northside Lady Bears, 46-40, Friday at Southside Gym.
The Lady Pointers (4-1) will play for the TOC championship at 6 p.m. today against the winner of the other semifinal, played late Friday, between Howe and Hamilton Heights (Tenn.). Northside (3-4) will face the Howe-Hamilton Heights loser for third place at 4:30 p.m. today.
Early on in Friday's game, it seemed as if Van Buren would have its way with the Lady Bears. The Lady Pointers jumped out to a 15-2 lead and was still in command at the end of the first quarter, up 16-6.
But the Lady Bears fought back, and outscored the Lady Pointers in the second, 15-4. Northside went in front at halftime, 21-20, on Melanie Smith's 3-pointer at the buzzer.
The game continued to be tightly contested in the second half.
With the score tied at 32-all, Northside scored five straight points to go up, 37-32, with four minutes left in regulation. Van Buren responded with a 5-0 run of its own, tying it at 37-all on Lani Snowden's foul shot with 1:08 remaining.
Northside then worked the clock in an attempt to win the game with the last shot. The Lady Bears were able to get a shot off right before the buzzer, but the ball bounced off the rim, sending the affair into overtime.
Van Buren's Taylar Sutton broke the tie with a free throw. Lady Pointer junior guard Jamilyn Kinney then did her part to extend her team's advantage.
Kinney knocked down a long-range 3 with two minutes left. Then on the next possession, Kinney came up with a steal near mid-court and went in for a layup while being fouled. Kinney finished off the three-point play with 1:47 left, giving Van Buren a 44-37 lead.
Northside finally broke its overtime scoreless drought with 21 seconds left on a jumper from Aniya Webster, who then came up with a steal. That set up two foul shots from Fatarah Kinnard with 12 seconds to go, but Kinnard went 1-of-2 at the line, and Sutton came up with the rebound on the miss.
Kinney sealed the win by making two foul shots with 8.5 seconds showing on the clock. She finished with 21 points and made five 3's to go with nine rebounds, four steals and four assists.
Sutton came up with a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, half of those on the offensive end.
Topazia Hawkins had 15 points to lead Northside in scoring.