Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 4, 2016

Last second basket gives ND ladies the win.

With 2.9 seconds showing on the clock in the background, North Delta Jr. High’s Ally Alford pulls up for this jumpshot to give the Lady Wave the 22-21 win over Bayou to win the Jr. High District title Saturday afternoon. The Panolian photos by Will Dickins.

North Delta’s Ryan Gibson carries the ball down the court in the junior high district tournament last week.

MAIS 1-AAA Jr. High District Champions North Delta Lady Green Wave

By Brad Greer
Just like her North Delta teammates, Ally Alford struggled mightily to find the bottom of the net in the District 1-AAA Junior High girls championship game against Bayou Saturday afternoon at Kirk Academy.
But with the contest hanging in the balance, the seventh grader came through in the clutch. She took the defensive rebound  of Bayou’s Madison Jenkins free throw with nine seconds left and raced the length of the court to hit the game winning shot at the buzzer to give North Delta a 22-21 victory over the Colts
After the game, Alford talked about the frantic final seconds.
“I knew there was not much time left on the clock so I just grabbed the rebound and ran as hard as I could. Everything happened so fast you really don’t have much time to think about it,” said Alford, who finished with a game-high 16 points.
“We could not get any of our shots to fall the entire game. But we knew if we could keep hanging around at the end, sooner or later a shot was going in. This was a total team effort today. Either we were going to win as a team or lose as a team. I am just so happy we could come out with the win,” said Alford.
“There is an old cliché you always want to ball in you best player’s hands at the end of the game and we were fortunate to have it in Ally’s hands,” said North Delta head coach Harrison Nickle. “ I was thinking about calling a timeout to set up a play but she was in transition and that is all you can ask for is that she gets off a good shot. She had been shooting all day and nothing was seeming to fall but she kept taking it to the rim and luckily that last shot fell in.”
Bayou led 21-17 with 3:01 remaining before a layup and free throw by Alford trimmed the Green Wave deficit to 21-20 with 1:06 left to play.
Neither team could buy a basket from the start as the score was tied 3-3 after one quarter of play. North Delta took its first lead at 4-3 in the opening minute of the second period before Bayou regained the lead, 7-6, on a Madison Kitchen layup. Hannah Bollinger and Alford later banked in consecutive jumpers to give the Lady Wave a 12-10 halftime advantage.
Hannah Bollinger, Faith Bollinger and Sayle Stennett registered two points each for the Lady Waves.
North Delta 32, Kirk 28
North Delta reached the title game with a hard-earned 32-28 win over homestanding Kirk Thursday night. The Lady Wave trailed 19-14 at halftime but a strong defensive effort held Kirk to nine points in the second half.
Alford again led the way with 15 points with Emy Cay Donaldson supplying nine. Faith Bollinger chipped in with four points while Hannah Bollinger and Stennett finished with two points each.
St. Joseph (boys)- 41 ND-38
After defeating Bayou Wednesday, the sixth-seeded North Delta boys looked to upset No. 2 seed St. Joseph in the semifinal round Thursday. But it was not to be. The Fighting Irish scored the go-ahead bucket with 47 seconds left before adding the finishing touches with a pair of free throws in the waning seconds to secure the victory.
North Delta led 10-4 after one quarter of play and 19-14 at halftime as Matt Burchfield could not be stopped on the inside, scoring 10 of his team-leading 14 points in the half.
Jordan Cox was a perfect five-for-five from the floor for 10 points.
Colin Hartman, who registered 18 points in the victory over Bayou, followed with eight points. Carter Gee chipped in with four points while Ryan Gibson finished with two points.
North Delta was playing without starter Chris Burchfield who, ironically, sustained a broken wrist against St. Joseph last Monday.

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