Girls basketball: Memorial's defense grounds Katy Taylor
Memorial used clutch defense and rebounding to take a 53-50 overtime win over visiting Katy Taylor in Tuesday's early showdown of unbeaten District 19-5A leaders.
Both sides struggled to the finish in the fourth quarter, with Taylor getting a pair of free throws Amanda Jungwirth with 1:05 left to send the game into overtime.
A three-pointer by Ellen Anderson put Memorial up 50-47 with 2:32 left in the overtime period. That proved to the only basket in the four-minute frame, with Memorial and Taylor both adding three free throws.
Anderson's three-point basket was set up by an offensive rebound off a missed shot by Laurel Carrell. It was part of an impressive showing on the boards for Memorial, which outrebounded Taylor 32-23 despite a size disadvantage.
"(Rebounding) has been a point of emphasis, because we've really been beat up on the board this year," first-year coach Jyusef Larry said.
"We're not a very big team, but I'm trying to get the girls to believe that, if they take care of their responsibilities, we can be a solid defensive and rebounding team."
Memorial showed a large amount of patience in the contest. It lost a pair of eight-point leads in the second half, but never lost its composure and continued to bear down on defense.
Taylor used a full court press to force a slew of turnovers in the third and fourth periods to overcome the deficits, only to see its efforts derailed by poor shooting and mistakes late in the fourth quarter and in overtime.
"We've been facing adversity on and off all year," Larry said. "Over at College Station, we lost a senior four-year letterman who is our second-leading scorer. This is their first district game after that.
"We talk about adversity. It's how you deal with adversity that determines the character of a person."
Jungwirth led Taylor with 16 points, including three free throws in overtime. She also grabbed seven rebounds in the second half.
Anderson sank four three-pointers and led all scorers with 19 points.Olivia Podaras and Alle Sawyer each contributed nine points and Madison Miller added eight.
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