Two free throws with 0.7 seconds left in overtime cemented a victorious homecoming for Heather Cassady.
Dunlap rallied to beat Peoria Christian, 44-40 in overtime on Thursday night as a part of the Galesburg Thanksgiving Tournament. The Eagles (2-0) gave Cassady her first home coaching victory at her alma mater.
“If we’re going to win, it’s going to be as a team,” the 1998 Dunlap grad said. “We have a lot of depth. “It’s just learning what it takes to win.”
That will to win was evident in the final 3:19 of the extra period. Brianne Henson gave the Eagles a 35-32 lasting lead when she made a 3-pointer from the right wing. She then put Dunlap up 40-36 with a pair of free throws at the one-minute mark.
“(Brianne’s) a scorer, can drive and has a good basketball mind,” Cassady said of her junior, who finished with nine points and eight rebounds.
Taylor Myroth’s turnaround hook shot, however, cut the lead to two on the next possession. A PCS foul then put Kristeen Morgan on the foul line with a chance to make it a two-possession game with 25.1 left.
“Of course it was a lot of pressure on me and I missed my first two,” Morgan said.
Morgan, who scored a team-high 11 points, would get redemption. After a Myroth 3 rimmed out, the senior point guard took the outlet pass, was fouled, and calmly knocked down a pair of free throws.
Morgan then sealed the victory with two more foul shots and only 0.7 on the clock. “It’s a great start at 2-0,” Morgan said. “We love getting in this tournament because it gives us a preview to our season.”
PCS (0-2), which lost to East Peoria 54-36 on Tuesday, went into halftime up 18-15 after outscoring the hosts 13-3 in the quarter. In that frame, Dunlap shot 1-for-10 from the field and committed four turnovers.
The Eagles managed to shoot just 25 percent (15-for-60) for the game.
“Defensively, we kind of did what we wanted to do,” Chargers coach Greg Myroth said. “That’s what we sort of pride ourselves on, because we’re not big or super athletic.”
The Chargers twice led by four — 26-22, late in the third and 30-26 with 3:03 left in the game. But with just under a minute to play, Henson capped a personal four-point run when her jumper from the right elbow tied the game
Myroth scored 18 points and had nine rebounds. Kennedy Banks grabbed 16 of Dunlap’s 41 rebounds.