Apollo triumphed in dramatic fashion Monday night, using a 59-56 overtime win over Owensboro to advance to the 9th District girls’ basketball tournament championship for the third consecutive year.
The E-Gals Apollo (18-11) withstood multiple lopsided scoring runs by the Lady Devils (13-17) to move on to Thursday’s title game against Owensboro Catholic.
The final Owensboro run regulation was capped off by a basket by Tayonna Greer on a fastbreak pass from Mykael Winstead to tie the game at 50 apiece with just over two minutes to play.
Following the Greer layup, Apollo head coach Natalie Payne called a timeout, electing go conservative on offense and maintain possession for the final shot. The E-Gals were called for a double-dribble with 6 seconds left on the clock go give Owensboro a chance to steal the win.
After the change of possession, the Lady Devils’ Amaya Curry drove the length of the court, putting up a floater that narrowly missed as time expired. The errant shot ensured an extra period of play that was controlled by Apollo from start to finish.
Apollo was led in scoring by senior Lexi Shadowen, and E-Gals head coach Natalie Payne praised her following the team’s big win.
“Lexi had to battle a lot of emotions tonight as a senior playing in what could have been her final game,” Payne said. “Once she settled in she really took off. I’m so happy for her and her teammates. The girls have put in so much time and so much work and it paid off tonight.”
Although the season did not end the way Owensboro may have hoped, Monday night’s strong showing displayed exactly what Lady Devils head coach Jansen Locher had hoped for before the game.
“We gave ourselves a chance to win the game in regulation tonight,” Locher said. “Going into tonight, knowing we were going to be playing on Apollo’s home court, we really had just hoped to put ourselves in a place where we had a shot to win the game at the end, which is exactly what we did. Unfortunately, that shot didn’t fall, but we left it all out on the court and I couldn’t ask for anything more from my girls.”
With a team-high 15 points in her final high school game, Owensboro senior Tayonna Greer surpassed the 1,000-point mark for her career. According to Locher, the scoring feat was a great way to display to all that Greer has meant to the Owensboro girls’ basketball program over the last four years.
“I hate the way we had to go out tonight for the senior’s sake,” Locher said. “It will be hard to lose this senior class, especially Tayonna Greer who has meant so much to us for four straight years. It’s been a great, fun year and we will miss Greer and the other seniors dearly.”
Owensboro: Tayonna Greer 15, Amaya Curry 12, Victoria Whitlock 10, Lyric Lawrence 6, Mykael Winstead 6, Nia Gonzo 4, Melia Moorman 3
Apollo: Zoe Floyd 19, Lexi Shadowen 15, Kassidy Daugherty 11, Addison Carter 10, Amari Sanders 2, Amber Dunn