CAMBRIDGE CITY, Ind.
By the time Monday’s second overtime was nearing its end, Lincoln’s John Lewellen had lost track of the time on the clock.
No worries, coach.
Kristen Meal did a drive and dish, Tayler Pennington swished a big-time 3-pointer with no hesitation and the Golden Eagles held off Winchester 63-59 in a Tri-Eastern Conference girls basketball battle.
Pennington’s go-ahead 3 came with 4 seconds on the clock, and Meal made a pair of free throws to seal the victory.
“I have to credit Kristen. She finds a way to get me open,” said Pennington, who finished with nine points, including a pair of 3-pointers in the second overtime. “You can’t do anything without your teammates.”
The perimeter shooting ended a game marked by strong inside play from both teams.
Winchester’s Delaney Miller poured in a game-high 36 points, while Lincoln counterpart Jordan Bryant produced a double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds.
Miller twice gave the Falcons an advantage in the second overtime. Both times, a Pennington trey turned the tide back to the host Golden Eagles.
“I’m not nervous when I shoot it. I’m nervous after,” Pennington said. “When I’m shooting it, I just feel confident. I think that helps me.”
Lewellen said the Golden Eagles helped him late in the game. The veteran coach said he thought there was more time left on the game clock when the Golden Eagles had what turned into the game-winning possession.
Meal pulled the basketball back up to the point with around 13 seconds remaining.
“The girls pulled through,” Lewellen said.
” … I thought I had three or four more seconds. That’s why I told her to pull the ball out. Then I looked up at the clock … Luckily it worked.”
Time was running out on the Falcons in regulation, too, before Brandi Cross drilled a 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the game into the first overtime tied 48-all.
The TEC rivals traded points throughout that overtime period, with Miller’s basket with 50 seconds left knotting the score at 55-55.
“I told the guys on the radio, ‘You had to be here to see this game.’ Double overtime,” said Winchester coach Ed Geesaman. “Everybody knows we were struggling on offense, and tonight our whole team stepped up.
“I’m so proud of them tonight because we’ve been waiting on it. Yeah, we lost in double overtime, but you can see the progress. We’re improving so much, and we just have to keep on improving.”
Meal finished with 17 points and five rebounds for the Golden Eagles, while Haley Hall added nine points.
Mariah Roberts scored 13 for the Falcons (1-8, 1-3). Miller had a team-high six rebounds, with five each coming from Roberts and Liz Pegg.
“It was just a team effort tonight, and it all started with Delaney Miller,” Geesaman said. “We challenged her all week about being more active.”
Lincoln is now 2-1 in the TEC, but it was the second time the Golden Eagles had to go to overtime for a conference victory. They also halted Centerville 61-53 in overtime on Nov. 26.
“It was two teams that didn’t want to lose tonight,” Lewellen said. “We were just fortunate there at the end we were on top again.”
Both teams return to TEC action later this week. Winchester plays host Saturday to Union County, while Lincoln (3-4) travels Friday to Union City.
The Indians are one of three teams currently 2-0 in the conference, along with Tri High and Hagerstown.
“They have improved a bunch,” Lewellen said of the Indians. “Hopefully it will be another battle.”