SA loses overtime heartbreaker to end season

Published 11:57 pm Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Poor free-throw shooting cost Southampton Academy here Wednesday in a heartbreaking 47-43 overtime loss to Tandem Friends School in the Virginia Independent Schools Division 3 state tournament.

The Lady Raiders finished the season with a record of 24-2.

“The girls played hard,” said SA head coach Burdette Gatten. “We just had trouble at the foul line, and the ball didn’t roll in when we needed it to roll in. The girls couldn’t have played any harder, and we didn’t do anything that we wouldn’t do differently – other than make some foul shots, and they’ve been making their foul shots all season.”

The Lady Raiders shot 39 percent from the free throw line, compared to the Lady Badgers’ 61 percent.

The game started slow for both teams as the Lady Raiders got out to an early 8-7 lead after the first quarter. Tandem outscored the Lady Raiders 16-10 in the second quarter to take a 23-18 lead at halftime. SA outscored the visitors 20-15 in the second half to send the game into overtime, where the Lady Badgers prevailed 9-5.

Tandem, 15-10, advances to the state semifinals Friday in Fairfax, Va., against Miller School.

Kai Washington and Whitney Martin each finished with 14 points to lead the winners. Hattie Nguyen added 13 points and during the game hit the 1,000th point of her high school career.

Gabby Gatten led the Lady Raiders with a game-high 18 points, followed by Lindsay Raulston with 16, Allison Pulley with 4, Catherine Glover with 3 and Forrest Best with 2.

“We had a good season,” said Coach Gatten. “Everybody’s coming back next season, so if we keep everybody healthy and keep everybody coming back and work hard, then I expect to be in the playoffs next year. They put it all together, they’re smart girls, and they play hard. Everybody contributed well, and we just came up short.”

Gatten said free throws “doomed us from the start.”

“We missed foul shots, and we don’t miss like that. We’re a good foul-shooting team. We should be shooting at least 70 percent. We’re all disappointed, but I’m fine with their effort. We played hard and competed hard all season long. Tandem is a good team, and I wish them well.”