Looking to make a push towards the post season, the Harrisburg High School girls' basketball team took a step in the right direction with a 65-62 overtime victory against Eldorado in the third place game of the Lady Eagle Winter Classic Saturday night at Duff-Kingston Gymnasium.
Kelsey Hobbs played the role of hero for the Bulldogs, scoring all eight of Harrisburg's points in the overtime period to help Harrisburg to a 17-4 overall record.
In OT play, Hobbs hit a 3-pointer to start, which was followed by two free throws from Paige Zertuche and Taylor Goodley to give the Eagles a one-point lead.
Hobbs struck again with a deep three to give the Bulldogs the lead for good.
An Ashton Unthank jumper with 11 seconds left to play barely rolled out and Hobbs pulled down the rebound, taking the foul and going to the free throw line to knock down two free throws with 1.5 left for the 3-point win.
"Kelsey was clutch and stepped up tonight when we needed it most," head coach Jake Stewart said. "It was a great win in a great atmosphere and I can not say enough about each and everyone of my players."
To help get the game into overtime, Hobbs answered with layup off a steal. Eldorado held a two-point lead with under a minute to go before Hobbs steal.
Another Eldorado turnover gave Harrisburg a chance to win the game, but Ashley Ferrell's look rimmed out and Haley Thompson had a put back that rolled off the rim, sending the game into overtime.
Harrisburg was forced to go to its bench in the fourth quarter and late into the ballgame after Shelby Boer and Hanna Jones each fouled out.
"We had two kids come in who haven't played in a close varsity game all year," Stewart added. "I cannot say enough about how well Hannah Walker and Hayley Thompson played for us, especially with the situation they were put in."
Lindsey Murray opened the game with a 3-pointer and a Hanna Jones layup made it 5-0 quickly.
Eldorado made a run and the first quarter went back and forth, with Harrisburg taking a one-point lead (15-14) into the second.
Harrisburg played without the services of 6-foot-1 freshman center Devan Jones who was out with the flu, allowing things to open up for Eldorado in the post as the Eagles took advantage with Erica Graczyk scoring a game-high 17 points.
Harrisburg outscored Eldorado 18-12 in the second quarter to take an 8-point lead at the break.
"We played a great firsthalf and got up to a double digit lead late in the second," Stewart added. "Their post players did a good job of scoring and Hanna and Shelby had to play extra minutes with Devan being out."
Page 2 of 2 - Eldorado got going in the third by cutting the lead in half, outscoring the Bulldogs 15-11heading into the final frame.
Eldorado kept battling back and took the lead late in the fourth by taking advantage of good low post play, but each club couldn't get over the hump, taking the contest into extra minutes.
Harrisburg 15 18 11 12 ot 8- 65
Eldorado 14 12 15 16 ot 4- 62
Harrisburg (65) Ferrell 3 2-6 10, Douglas 0 3-4 3, H. Jones 3 0-1 6, Murray 3 4-7 12, Boer 6 4-6 16, Burtis 1 0-0 3, Younger 2 0-2 4, Hobbs 2 4-4 10, Walker 0 1-2 1. Totals: 20 18-32 65.
Eldorado (62) Unthank 2 0-0 4, Phillips 5 1-1 11, Zertuche 3 2-2 9, Goodley 2 3-4 7, Graczyk 8 2-4 17, Artman 4 6-11 14. Totals: 24 14-22 62.
3-Pointers: Harrisburg 7 (Ferrell 2, Murray 2, Hobbs 2, Burtis) Eldorado 1 (Zertuche). Team Fouls: Harrisburg 20, Eldorado 18. Fouled out: Harrisburg Boer, H. Jones