Down seven at the half to the fourth-ranked team in Class 1A on Homecoming night, the Quitman Lady Bulldogs (ranked first in Class 2A) used a 19-8 third quarter run to get back in the game before needing an extra session of basketball to defeat the Mt. Vernon-Enola Lady Warhawks and sweep the season series 3-0 after picking up the 60-57 overtime victory Friday night at the Bulldog Complex. MVE’s Jr. Boys won 48-21, as did the varsity Warhawks 57-42, outscoring the Bulldogs 38-21 in the second half.
Mt. Vernon-Enola-57 Quitman-42
After trailing 21-19 at intermission, MVE senior Logan Adcock put the foot down on the gas pedal and led the Class 1A sixth-ranked Warhawks past the Bulldogs, scoring all 19 of his points in the final 16 minutes of action.
Quitman held MVE to two field goals over the course of the first quarter, getting contributions from Parker Benton, David Alvarez and Zack Heffentrager to help the home team get out to a 10-5 advantage. The Warhawks turned up the intensity over the next eight minutes with Jasper Lasley scoring on a layup and putback, also splitting at the foul line while Joshua Leggett connected on a triple and a pullup jumper, as the Bulldogs held on to a slim two-point lead.
MVE would come out of the locker room with their highest scoring output of the contest, as Adcock got in the lane for three layups before draining a shot from downtown, before Jacob Moix cashed in on three shots from beyond the arc, capping off the run with a putback from Adam Simpson to give the Warhawks their largest lead of the night at 41-26, leading to Quitman junior David Alvarez netting a three-pointer to keep the Bulldogs within striking distance.
A three from Zac Shue got Quitman within single digits at 45-36, but MVE would close the game out by making six of seven free throws, including a perfect six of six from Adcock, who was responsible for 10 of his team’s final 16 points. Following Adcock’s 19, Moix finished with 14 on four made three-pointers for the Warhawks (24-6). Heffentrager led Quitman (19-11) with 19, as Alvarez chipped in with 13.
Quitman-60 Mt. Vernon-Enola-57
The first two matchups between these teams were both decided by less than five points, as the third and final battle did not disappoint, with the Lady Bulldogs pulling the broom on the season series after junior guard Nicki Hooten delivered the game-winning three-point play to seal the victory.
The first quarter saw the lead exchange five times, as Nicki Hooten and MVE senior guard Gracie Raby traded baskets that included Hooten providing eight straight points for Quitman on a putback shot and back-to-back triples, one from the left wing and the other from the right corner. Raby scored 8 of her team’s final 11 points including a fifteen-foot jumper and three made shots from in close, as the Lady Warhawks led 17-16.
MVE added on to their lead as Raby made two free throws, Taylor Keathley threw in a three midway through the quarter, Kaylea Jobe cleaned up her own missed shot with an offensive stickback, and Raby closed the half with a drive and finish off the glass. Quitman hit a dry spell and was held scoreless until Nicki Hooten got a three to fall with forty-five seconds remaining, trailing at the break 26-19.
After Raby split at the charity stripe to start the second half, the Lady Bulldogs got right back into the game and pulled within two after senior Aspen Johnson buried back-to-back trifectas. MVE continued to hold a lead, however, as Kenzie Woodruff connected from beyond the arc, leading to Lily Holland knocking down two consecutive jump shots to tie the game at 34-34, with the Lady Bulldogs taking their first lead since early in the game after Nicki Hooten scored on a second chance opportunity and cousin Rieley Hooten put in two attempts from the charity stripe, giving the defending 2A state champions a four-point lead with one more session of play remaining.
Following Nicki Hooten’s fourth and final three of the night, the Lady Warhawks reeled off a 7-0 run that featured a layup from senior forward Kyndal Hardy and four straight points from Alaina Ellis to put MVE back on top. Rieley Hooten answered with a three from the right wing before the duo of Raby and Hardy finished from inside, as Lucy Holland got a layup to fall and also split from the line. Trailing 49-48, MVE head coach Adam Carlton called a time-out and drew up a play that resulted in Hardy knocking down a wide-open three-pointer from the left corner to go up two, as Nicki Hooten responded with two free throws with just forty seconds remaining, as Ellis’ three-point attempt ended up off the mark to send the game into overtime.
The Lady Warhawks struck first, with Hardy getting to the free-throw line and making both shots. Sophomore guards Autumn Johnson and Gracie Smith came up in the clutch and gave the black and yellow team a four-point advantage (57-53) after both players swished threes on back-to-back possessions. Raby would score her final points on another drive to the rim to get within two before Ellis knotted the game back up with a lay-in. The ball would be in Nicki Hooten’s hands on the ensuing Quitman possession, who would score while in the act of getting fouled on a shot in the lane, hitting nothing but nylon to complete the three-point play, as MVE’s three missed to give the Lady Bulldogs the walk-off victory.
“I thought it was a very physical game,” said Quitman head coach Timothy Hooten. “Both teams deserved to win, but unfortunately only one can. Our girls never quit and I think that’s one thing we have learned to do over the past couple of years and that’s win big games.” Hooten also stated that it was a good win over a high-caliber team. “Both teams are playing at the top of their games right now. Last week they [MVE] were up on Wonderview (last season’s state runner-up) and from my understanding had a chance to win. They are playing extremely well and will be in the hunt for the 1A title. It lets you know you are doing things right when you can get a win like this.”
Nicki Hooten led the winners with 23 points, as Aspen Johnson followed with 9 for Quitman, who improves to 26-3. MVE (27-6) was led by Raby’s game-high 24, with Ellis tallying 14.
Mt. Vernon-Enola-48 Quitman-21
The Jr. Warhawks drilled four three-pointers to get out to a 16-6 lead and never looked back in their victory over the Jr. Bulldogs. Hayden Martin led Quitman with 7 points as Holden Martin followed with 6. MVE also led 26-12 at halftime and 38-19 after three quarters.
Quitman’s senior teams take on Bigelow in the home and regular season finales for the teams tonight for Senior Night before starting district tournament play at Bigelow.