By MICHAEL KELLY
FONDA -- Some late magic from senior Cassandra Egelston and a valiant overall effort was almost enough Friday night for the Fonda-Fultonville Lady Braves against archrival Watervliet.
But, in the end, it was the Lady Cannoneers who walked away with a 66-58 victory in a Colonial Council thriller that took two overtimes to decide.
"It was a great game; a well-played, hard-fought game," said Watervliet head coach Gordie Johnson. "No doubt about that."
Down 50-42 with a couple minutes to go in regulation, the Lady Braves (9-3, 7-3) did not quit. F-F scored the final eight points of regulation to send the game to overtime, the last three points coming on a corner trey from Egelston with less than a minute to play.
"We just wanted to beat them so badly," she said. "We knew if we kept playing how we had been, we could come back."
The Lady Braves brought a six-game winning streak into Friday's affair against sixth-ranked Watervliet (13-0, 11-0), who had drubbed F-F in the teams' first meeting, 58-32.
But it was the Lady Cannoneers that found themselves needing to dig out of a hole in the first overtime. Egelston made another 3-pointer to start the extra session and F-F maintained a small lead for all of the first overtime -- until Watervliet's Kali Szezepanski tied the score at 58 with a late free throw. F-F senior Monica Derby had a pair of free throws after the game was tied, but she could not convert.
In the second overtime, the Lady Cannoneers' depth visibly wore on F-F, which had more turnovers than shots in the stanza. Watervliet scored the game's final eight points, as F-F did not score in the final session.
Teagan Clough led Watervliet with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Szezepanski had 13 points.
F-F head coach Tom Nethaway said his team had correctable miscues that contributed to its loss, but that he could not fault his players.
"The big thing they can learn from this is that this is the No. 6 team in the state in Class B -- and we just took them to double overtime," said Nethaway. "We can play with teams like this all day long."
Egelston finished with 16 points for F-F, and Miranda Nethaway contributed five points and 15 rebounds, while Emily Parslow led the Lady Braves with 18 points.
Watervliet used senior Brittanie Clickner to face-guard Parslow all night, and a second defender was never far from the F-F star.
"It was hard," said Parslow. "They were all over me. Every time I got open, I was only open for half a second and they were back on me."
Johnson said that was by design, as he was not going to let Parslow run amok and carry the Lady Braves.
"They have the best player in our league, Emily Parslow ... and whatever she got, I thought we made her work for it," Johnson said.
Parslow thanked Johnson for the compliment.
"I know he doesn't really love Fonda, but for him to say that ... I like him now," she said.
Parslow and the Lady Braves were down just four points heading into halftime, but suffered through a dismal third quarter. F-F was 1 of 17 from the field in the stanza -- Parslow was 0 of 7 -- and Watervliet built an 11-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
"I think we wore on them," said Johnson. "We were just trying to play everyone straight up and deny Emily."
The hard-hitting defensive tactics did wear on the Lady Braves, but not enough to make F-F not want to get a third crack at its rivals this season.
"We'll see them again along the way," said Tom Nethaway. "We'll see them in sectionals."
"We're hoping to face them again," Egelston agreed.
NOTES: In a foul-plagued contest, the clubs combined to take 59 foul shots. Each team had players foul out, with Derby and guard Julianna Taylor fouling out for F-F. ... Taylor scored 12 points for F-F, while forward Jeananna Warner had 11 rebounds. ... Nethaway was called for a technical foul in the fourth quarter. ... Parslow scored 12 points in the first half on seven shots.
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