Tuesday, Dec. 3 -- Rockbridge County and Parry McCluer opened the high school girls' basketball season in thrilling fashion in Buena Vista, with the Wildcats outlasting the Fighting Blues 56-52 in double overtime.
Alli Bellairs knocked down 4-of-4 free throws in the final 20.6 seconds of the second OT session, breaking a 52-52 tie and lifting the 'Cats to the victory.
Keely Fresh poured in 34 points for RCHS, and her stepback 3-pointer with 32 seconds left in the first overtime had evened the score at 49-49 and forced a second extra period. Lindsey Chittum led Parry McCluer with 19 points, while MacKenzie Wheeler added 18.
The Blues led 16-10 at halftime, but the Wildcats outscored PM 18-7 in the third quarter to take a 28-23 advantage. The lead changed hands four times in the fourth period; Fresh's layup with 1:05 to play put the Wildcats up 40-39, but Wheeler converted 1-of-2 foul shots with 12.4 seconds left to send the game to overtime.
Chittum scored seven of the Blues' nine points in the first OT period, assisting on the other basket -- a Wheeler layup -- as the teams traded buckets before Fresh's trey knotted things up at 49-49.
Fresh's layup with 1:51 to play in the second overtime gave Rockbridge County a 52-51 lead, but Ashley Austin tied the score on a foul shot at the 1:30 mark. The Blues got the ball back with the game tied at 52-52, but turned it over.
After Bellairs hit two free throws to push the Wildcats ahead 54-52, Parry McCluer committed another turnover, leading to two more Bellairs foul shots that iced the game with 6.5 seconds left.
Bellairs finished with nine points for Rockbridge County, while Morgan Bond and Katie Mast chipped in five apiece. Kristina VanBrocklin added six points for Parry McCluer, and Austin tallied five.
For the full game story, please see our Dec. 11 print edition.