Lady Crusaders make tourney final

Published 7:42 pm Saturday, February 26, 2011

High scorer: First Baptist’s Morgan Overton scored 15 points and swiped 10 steals as the Lady Crusaders beat Veritas 47-32 in a Seven Cities Athletic Conference Tournament semifinal game Friday night at Liberty Baptist Church. The Lady Crusaders, the No. 2 team in the regular season, face No. 1 Gateway Christian in the final Tuesday evening.

Sisters and First Baptist’s guard duo Morgan and Meredith Overton led a Lady Crusader surge in the second half to send First Baptist into the final of the Seven Cities Athletic Conference Tournament with a 47-32 win over Veritas Friday evening on First Baptist’s home court at Liberty Baptist Church.

No. 2-seed First Baptist fought off a strong challenge as Veritas kept the game close most of the way. The Lady Spartans were within three, a 28-25 Lady Crusader lead, nearing three minutes remaining in the third period.

Veritas and First Baptist traded a series of empty possessions before the Lady Crusaders turned their good defense into needed offense.

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Morgan Overton tallied a rare double-double with 15 points and 10 steals. One of those steals led to a fast break and lay-up for a 30-25 Lady Crusader lead.

A few seconds later, Meredith Overton stole the ball from a Veritas guard near midcourt. Meredith, the older sister and FB’s starting point guard, was cut off on her break to the basket, so she tossed up a full-speed, right-handed hook from 12 feet away and it went in as she was fouled. She missed the easier foul shot, but the Lady Crusader rally was on.

Victoria Carr turned an offensive rebound into a basket. Morgan Overton made a jumper from along the baseline.

In the final 0:10 of the quarter, starting with Veritas bringing the ball inbounds at midcourt, Morgan Overton stole the ball, drove down the right sideline and made a running 17-footer off the glass at the buzzer making it 10-0 First Baptist to finish the period and suddenly a lead, 38-25, that was comfortable for the first time in the game.

The teams traded the lead until late in the first half. In the early going, Veritas used a patient offense and a bit of a height advantage in the lane to stay with the Lady Crusaders.

Carr found Morgan Overton cutting to the basket for a lay-up for a 12-11 Lady Crusader lead early in the second period. The next FB hoop came as Morgan Overton fought to get a rebound, winding up on the floor straight under the basket, then passed toward the left wing for Carr who made a jumper.

Morgan Overton, as the shortest player on the court through most of the game, added seven rebounds to her double-double, with a couple that she turned into her own baskets amongst taller traffic.

Veritas moved ahead 15-14 before First Baptist regained the lead, 20-15, to close the half.

After the 10-0 run at the end of the third period, First Baptist kept a safe margin through the fourth quarter. Megan Farmer scored all six of her points in the last period.

Meredith Overton finished with 12 points, six rebounds and four steals. Carr had eight points and 19 rebounds. Farmer also had seven rebounds and four blocks.

First Baptist, the Seven Cities season champ and tournament runner-up a season ago, will try to switch those two results around in the tournament final Tuesday. No. 1 Gateway Christian, undefeated in conference play this season, waits for First Baptist. The girls and boys finals will be at Liberty Baptist Church Tuesday with the girls final starting at 5:30 p.m.