By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
WILLIAMSBURG — The Lynn Camp Lady Wildcats’ dreams of capturing the school’s first-ever 13th Region All ‘A’ Classic championship were dashed in dramatic fashion Friday.
The Lady Wildcats were seconds away from advancing to the All ‘A’ Classic State Tournament, but Pineville’s Emil Mullins connected with a three-pointer at the buzzer to force overtime at 43 apiece.
There was some confusion on whether or not Mullins released the ball before the buzzer went off, but in the end, the shot counted and the Lady Mountain Lions finally pulled away in the second overtime to win, 56-52.
“This is a very, very tough loss for us,” Lynn Camp coach Richard Jones said. “We just didn’t execute and that cost us the game.”
Lynn Camp turned out to be its own worst enemy by turning the ball over 26 times nine times in the fourth quarter.
The Lady Wildcats led by as many as 11 points (15-4) in the first half, but one-of-14 shooting in the second quarter along with 17-of-57 shooting for the game led to the four-point loss.
“We just didn’t execute down the stretch,” Jones said. “That’s the ballgame. We made several bad plays in regulation that if we did make them, we could have won.”
Pineville didn’t help its case much either. The Lady Mountain Lions were only 16-of-31 from the free-throw line, including a five-of-12 effort in the fourth quarter.
“We worked really hard to get to the championship game and we had a goal to win this, but we just came up short,” Jones said. “We’ll go from here and try to win our district games and try the district.
“We’ve got to learn to do the extra things and work even harder to be a program that can make that next step to win a championship.”
Lynn Camp led 15-4 after the first quarter on six-of-15 shooting, but fizzled out in the second quarter by misfiring on its first 12 shots.
The Lady Wildcats’ offensive woes allowed Pineville to get back in the contest and cut its deficit to only five points (20-15) at halftime.
The Lady Mountain Lions took a brief 21-20 lead in the third quarter before three-pointers by Heather Wilson, Merita Burke and Kayla Smith allowed Lynn Camp to take a 35-29 lead into the fourth quarter.
Jones’ squad continued to struggle from the floor during the final eight minutes. Lynn Camp connected on only two-of-eight shot attempts, allowing Pineville to get back into the game.
The Lady Wildcats led by five points (43-38) with :32 remaining in regulation, but missed all five attempts at the free-throw line to seal the win, which in turn, set the stage for Mullins’ three-pointer to force overtime.
Pineville led by as many as three points (50-47) in the first overtime before the Lady Wildcats rallied to force a second overtime at 50 apiece.
Jones’ squad jumped out to a 52-50 lead, but the Lady Mountain Lions went on a 6-0 run to wrap-up the win and the 13th Region All ‘A’ Classic championship.
13th Region All ‘A’ Classic Championship
at Williamsburg High School
Pineville 4 11 16 14 7 6 56
Lynn Camp 15 5 15 8 7 2 52
Pineville (56) — Enix 13, Adams 16, Washington 6, Gambrel 8, Mullins 13.
Lynn Camp (52) — Smith 8, Wilson 16, Burke 7, May 15, Bryant 6.