The Lady Wildcats and the Trojanettes battled through regulation and double overtime in a game that featured physical play and big time shots. When the dust settled and the whistles stop blowing East Side was the victor with a 50-46 triumph.
With the win, East Side improved to 4-2 while Cleveland High fell to 5-6.
"It was a hard fought game," said East Side Coach Leroy Cotton. “I was really impressed with our effort. We have some things we need to work on and hopefully we will continue to get better as we get to January and February."
Cleveland High coach Jenny McCullough said she felt it was the best game her girls had played all year.
"I thought we gave the best effort we could possibly give,” McCullough said. “A shot here or there and we win. I am so proud of the girls. At any point they could have checked out, but they kept on playing and kept it close and had a chance to win at the end of the second overtime with four freshmen and one senior after four of my five starters fouled out.”
With 4:48 remaining in regulation, CHS held a 30-28 lead. East Side's Keisha Cotton was fouled and made one free throw to bring the game to 30-29. With four minutes left, Carvacier Sanders was fouled and made a free throw to tie the game at 30-30.
On the Lady Wildcats’ next possession, McKinnon Skeen was called for a travel and off the turnover Sanders was able to get to the basket and draw a three-point play. Sanders missed the free throw, but the Trojanettes led 32-30.
Skeen made up for the mistake and drew a foul and knocked down both freebies to tie the game at 32-32 with 3:03 left.
The game remaining locked at 32-32 until Katelyn Thompson seemingly hit a short jumper, but the sophomore was called for traveling to giving the ball back to East Side.
The Trojanettes used the turnover wisely as they ran their offense and found Sanders on the wing for a three-point shot with 55 seconds left in regulation for a 35-32 East Side lead.
With 33-seconds remaining, Skeen was fouled and made both free throws to bring the score to 35-34.
The Trojanettes pushed the ball up court, but the Lady Wildcats stole Sanders' pass and McCullough called timeout to draw up a play.
Out of the timeout the ball made its way to Lauren Ashley Collins who drew a foul and with 16 seconds left Collins made one free throw to tie the game at 35-35.
East Side had one last chance on Sanders’ drive in traffic and lay-up, but she missed it to send the game into overtime.
In the overtime things went back and forth and with East Side holding a 41-39 lead the game seemed in control, but the Lady Wildcats kept fighting.
A free throw from Taylor Collins made it 41-40 and following another East Side turnover, Taylor got the ball and was fouled again and made a free throw to tie the game at 41-41, which pushed the game into a second overtime.
With 3:21 on the clock in the second OT, Skeen made two free throws for a 43-41 CHS lead.
East Side's Lashawn Palmer scored in the post to tie the game at 43-43 with 2:38 on the clock.
Taylor was able to get to the line with 1:09 on the clock and made one free throw to give the Lady Wildcats a 44-43 lead.
Trialing by one the Trojanettes went to Sanders who delivered with a hoop and the foul with 31 seconds left. The free throw was good and East Side held a 46-44 lead. East Side then put on the full court press and forced a turnover, which resulted in Shammia Love getting fouled. Love made both free throws for a 48-44 lead with 10.9 seconds left in the contest.
Skeen was fouled on a three-point attempt with seven seconds on the clock and made two-of-three for a 48-46 game.
On the inbounds play the Wildcats lost track of Love who got the pass and slung it down court to Marquianna Henry for an easy lay-up as time expired for a 50-46 score.
Cotton finished the game with 15 points and 12 rebounds, followed by Sanders with 15 points and Love with seven points to lead the Trojanettes.
Skeen led all scorers with 26 points to Cleveland, followed by Taylor Collins with 12 points and Lauren Ashley Collins with six points.
East Side was scheduled to play Gentry Saturday, but results were not available by press time. Cleveland High will travel to play Shaw at 6 p.m. Monday.