CELINA — Argyle had plenty of chances to pull out a big road win Friday at Celina.
The Lady Eagles had a poor shooting game and spoiled a night in which they held two of Celina’s top three scorers to a combined 12 points, and Celina claimed a 38-36 overtime victory in a battled of ranked teams.
“We couldn’t convert on our opportunities when we had them,” Argyle coach Skip Townsend said. “We missed two layups to tie the game at the end. You can’t do that against good teams like Celina.”
The final nail in Argyle’s coffin came in the final seconds of overtime when two of the Lady Eagles’ top scorers, Delaney Sain and Jesse Sheridan, missed point-blank layups that could have sent the game into a second extra period.
After the ball went out of bounds off a Celina player, the Lady Eagles (23-5, 2-2 District 10-3A) had the ball under the Celina basket with two seconds to play and the two-point deficit.
Sheridan broke free and was wide open on a back-door cut, but her layup attempt bounced off the backboard and the rim and fell to the floor as the final buzzer sounded.
“Those are two of our leading scorers,” Townsend said. “We got the ball to whom we wanted to get it to on perfectly executed plays; we just couldn’t execute the shots. But you can’t put the ballgame on those two shots.”
Celina sophomore KJ Stastny, the Ladycats’ leading scorer at 16 points per game, was held to five points in regulation before scoring all four of her team’s points in the extra period.
She also had a huge block in overtime on what appeared to be another wide-open layup for Sheridan with just more than a minute to play that would have given Argyle a 38-37 lead.
The Ladycats (22-4, 3-1), No. 11 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Class 3A poll, were led by guard Alex Jones’ 14 points, while junior Sarah Cantu, an Air Force pledge, chipped in with 12.
Townsend said his team’s defense was good, specifically in the second half, but it left something to be desired on the perimeter in the first half.
“Our defense was OK,” Townsend said. “It wasn’t the best defense we’ve played all year. We played poor defensively in the first half when we were just letting their 3-point shooters stand there and shoot without getting in their face. I just call that a lack of competing, but we got better in the second half.”
The Celina defense seemed to have one goal in mind, especially early on — to pack the paint and not allow Sain and her 14 points per game to beat it.
Townsend said he was confident in his shooters to make the Ladycats pay, but on Friday they did not get the job done.
“We can shoot the ball, and we’ve done that well this year,” he said. “Tonight we just didn’t shoot it well. I remember knocking the backboard over a few times tonight. We just didn’t shoot it well.”
It was the 3-pointer, however, that kept the No. 12 Lady Eagles in the game in the fourth quarter after they’d fallen behind by as many as five points.
Morgan McInaney hit a 3-pointer to open the fourth quarter, and Allea Harris knocked down two 3s, including one that tied it with 48 seconds left to send the game into overtime.
Jones almost won the game for Celina at the buzzer when she recovered a loose ball just outside the paint and heaved a shot up from her knees that hit the front of the rim, ensuring the extra period.
Argyle has lost its first game against the top two teams in the district, Celina and Frisco Lone Star, with the second half of district play set to begin next week.
After its bye on Tuesday, Argyle will face Carrollton Ranchview on Friday.
“We’ve got to win three more games to assure ourselves a playoff spot,” Townsend said. “It’s pretty simple.”
ADAM BOEDEKER can be reached at 940-566-6872. His e-mail address is email@example.com.
Celina 38, Argyle 36 (OT)
Argyle 7 8 8 11 2 — 36
Celina 8 7 12 7 4 — 38
Argyle (23-5, 2-2) — Morgan McInaney 5, Delaney Sain 10, Allea Harris 11, Jesse Sheridan 6, Olivia Grey 2, Bailey Eschle 2.
Celina (22-4, 3-1) — KJ Stastny 9, Callie Wells 3, Sarah Cantu 12, Alex Jones 14.