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South Side gets past Homestead in stunning fashion

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Spartans have critical error in final seconds

Monday, February 11, 2013 - 1:18 am

Juanita Goodwell was nearly speechless. The South Side girls basketball coach's face looked relieved, excited and flabbergasted all at the same time.

Who could blame her?

Her South Side team had just beaten Homestead 54-53 in the Sectional 6 final on a crazy, back-and-forth emotional ride of a last minute.

South Side had built an early lead in the game, including 10 points at halftime, but Homestead slowly came back in the second half. Then, with 56 seconds left in the game, Homestead came away with a steal and found Sydney Buck in the corner for a 3-pointer. It was the Spartans first lead since they were up 3-2.

Everything was amped up after that in Homestead's gym and fans didn't return to the seating position the rest of the game.

On the next play, South Side's Brittni Clopton found DeJoyah Johnson cutting to the basket for a layup. South Side up one with 37 seconds left.

Then Homestead almost turned the ball over as it battled through the Archers press, but came away with it and set-up a play with 13 seconds left.

That's when the finish really got crazy.

Homestead's Savannah Buck had a 3-pointer with under 10 seconds left deflected, but her teammate Lindley Kistler came up with the ball under the hoop. As she went for the layup with 5.1 seconds left she was fouled. She hit both free throws to give Homestead the one-point lead.

It wouldn't be the last critical free throws of the game.

South Side took the ball out and called timeout from half court with 2.5 seconds left. Goodwell set-up a play to go to Arianna Simmons, but the ball would never leave the in-bounders hand.

Holding foul on Homestead.

South Side's Lakyn Gulley would be shooting a one-and-one. Her first free throws of the game.

“I was nervous; I didn't want to miss it,” Gulley said of the free throws after the game. “A lot (was) going through my mind, but I knew I could do it for my team. I was like it's going to go in. I had to make it for us.”

Swish. Crowd erupts. Homestead timeout.

Swish. South Side a one-point lead and close to avenging an 81-80 regular season loss to the Spartans on the biggest of stages.

Finally, Homestead's Kistler heaved a shot from half court, it had the distance but clanked off the backboard.

“You know, all we wanted to do was hold onto that 10-point lead, and we didn't get that done, but I just wanted my girls to stay fighting, stay fighting through it,” Goodwell said. “They (Homestead) hit some threes, that's what they're good for. … The fact (my team) hung on, I'm just very proud of them right now.”

The finish was created by Homestead finding its outside shot. Sydney and Savannah Buck found five 3-pointers in the second half to help the Spartans mount their comeback.

“I'm just extremely proud of my kids, for as young as we are, and the fact South Side came out and got to a good start, we just kept fighting and fighting to get back into the game,” Homestead head coach Rod Parker said. “Just really unfortunate that it played out with an off-ball foul with 2 seconds to go to give them free throws. Just an unfortunate ending when two kids get tied up and the call goes that way. That hurts but I'm really proud of the way our kids played.”

Goodwell said she couldn't see the final foul from her position on the sideline, but was glad one the referees did. She was also confident in Gulley because she was a clean shooter. Double that for South Side's other players.

“I believed in her,” Johnson said, who led South Side with 15 points. “I'm pretty sure everyone believed in her. She's a great free throw shooter, so we're happy they fouled her.”

The critical free throws gave South Side back-to-back sectional championships and the fifth in school history.

And in the end, Goodwell found the easy answer to how she was feeling.

“I'm just really happy for the girls right now,” she said. “So happy for our program to be able to get this…

“I can't be more proud.”

SOUTH SIDE 54, HOMESTEAD 53

South Side 17 15 10 12 — 54

Homestead 10 12 14 17 — 53

South Side: Gulley 10, Noel 5, Simmons 22, Clopton 8, Johnson 15, LaMaster-Stephen 4, Rogers 2

Homestead: Sydney Buck 17, Josie Fisher 14, Savannah Buck 6, Kistler 14, German 2

Girl's Basketball Sectional results

Class 4A

Snider

Saturday

Snider 67, Northrop 29

Homestead

Today

South Side 54, Homestead 53

Class 3A

Bishop Dwenger

Saturday

Concordia Lutheran 53, Angola 41

Mississinewa

Saturday

Norwell 76, Heritage 42

Class 2A

Bluffton

Saturday

Bishop Luers 54, South Adams 13

Class A

Canterbury

Saturday

Canterbury 87, Bethany Christian 34

Girl's Basketball Regional pairings

(All games Feb. 16)

Class 4A

Kokomo Regional

Semifinals

Snider (20-3) vs. Logansport (24-1), 10 a.m.

Westfield (21-2) vs. South Side (21-3), noon

Championship

Semifinal winners, 8 p.m.

Class 3A

Bellmont

Semifinals

Concordia Lutheran (17-6) vs. NorthWood (22-3), 10 a.m.

Hamilton Heights (20-2) vs. Norwell (21-3), noon

Championship

Semifinal winners, 8 p.m.

Class 2A

Rochester

Semifinals

Westview (15-8) vs. Bishop Luers (12-11), 10:30 a.m

Whiting (20-3) vs. Boone Grove (17-6), 12:30 p.m.

Championship

Semifinal winners, 8 p.m.

Class A

Caston

Semifinals

Morgan Township (14-10) vs. Oregon-Davis (21-3), 10:30 a.m.

Canterbury (21-3) vs. West Central (14-9), 12:30 p.m.

Championship

Semifinal winners, 8 p.m.