Franklin Road Academy has played Knoxville Webb in the last three DII-A girls basketball championship games, and Derica Wyatt and the Lady Panthers were able to take two of them.
FRA rallied from a nine-point deficit for a 52-45 overtime victory Saturday at Allen Arena.
Wyatt, who was named Miss Basketball for the third time, led FRA (30-3) with 23 points and eight rebounds. She hit two free throws with 10 seconds left to send the game into overtime.
Knoxville Webb won 41-34 last year, and FRA won 55-52 in 2011. The Panthers also made the 2010 final, losing to Harding Academy.
“This is a 100 percent testament to these girls,” FRA coach Chris Hart said. “We knew it was going to be difficult, and it was probably more difficult than we expected. But we refused to give up and hung in there.”
“They are the best team we play every year.”
Knoxville Webb also beat FRA 38-33 in this year’s region championship.
“It feels good to go out on this note,” said Wyatt, an Oklahoma signee. “It is a way of coming back because we lost to Knox Webb. And just a good way to close out my senior year.”
FRA trailed 21-12 with 1:56 left in the half, and the Lady Panthers went ahead 27-26 on a Sydney Hall jumper with 1:02 left in the third quarter.
Knoxville Webb went on a 6-0 run before FRA went on a 5-0 run to tie it 32-32 with 4:18 left in regulation on a jumper by Wyatt.
FRA trailed 40-36 with 24 seconds left after two free throws by Knox Webb’s Molly Melton. Sawyers hit a jumper with 19 seconds left, and after Melton missed a free throw, Wyatt hit two with 10 seconds left to tie it 40-40.
Knoxville Webb’s Katie Collier missed a 3-pointer with two seconds left, and the game went to overtime.
Kennedi Bell scored six of her 13 points for FRA in overtime, and Wyatt had four. Bell finished with 10 rebounds.
“We have nothing to be ashamed of,” Knoxville Webb coach Shelley Collier said. “We played hard and so did they.”
Micah Sheetz led the Lady Spartans (30-6) with 11 points.