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Unionís Keesha Sarman (40) drives in for a layup while Heppnerís Blake Greenup tries to stop her. Heppner won Saturdayís game in overtime, 64-60. BRAD MOSHER/The Observer
UNION — The Lady Cats rallied early in Saturday’s battle with Heppner, only to see victory slip away in overtime, 64-60.
The first league loss dropped Union (2-1) into third place in the Blue Mountain Conference race, behind undefeated Enterprise (4-0) and Heppner (3-1) and just a half-game ahead of Weston-McEwen, Grant Union and Pilot Rock — all with 2-2 league records.
It was the second overtime game of the weekend for the Lady Cats, after edging Pilot Rock 64-63 in Friday’s game.
In the first quarter Saturday, it looked like Heppner might runaway with an easy win as they took an early 12-0 lead before Sarah Good scored the first Union points with 3:15 left in the first quarter.
Going into the second quarter, Union was still 10 points down, 16-6, when the Lady Cats made an 8-0 run cutting the lead to two points.
With 3:53 left, Keesha Sarman completed the comeback when she stole the ball and scored, giving the Lady Cats their first lead of the game, 21-20.
By halftime, Union had extended its lead to 31-25, with Amber Fiorito hitting four points in the final 90 seconds.
Heppner rallied in the third quarter, closing the gap to 34-33 with 4:24 left, before Union made another run to a 42-34 advantage over the next two minutes.
Union had a 45-36 lead when Heppner’s Blake Greenup scored five points in the final 34 seconds to cut it to four points at the end of the third quarter.
At the start of the fourth quarter, Sarman and Dani Sturm held build a 48-41 lead before the Lady Mustangs would score again.
With 2:40 left, the Lady Cats held a nine-point lead, 54-45, after Sarman took a rebound and, facing the wrong way, made a blind backward shot that went in.
Then Heppner made a run to tie the game with 37 seconds left as the
Mustangs used turnovers and a three-point shot by Alana Wilson to catch up.
Neither team was able to score before the fourth quarter ended forcing overtime.
The Mustangs jumped out to a three-point lead early in overtime, before Sarman cut it to 57-56 with 1:55 left in the extra period.
In the final two minutes, Baily Bennett of Heppner dominated scoring three points to build a 61-56 lead for the Mustangs. A pair of free throws by Kelly Wilson added to Heppner’s lead, making it 63-58.
Sarman hit a basket with 16 seconds left, then stole the ball from Heppner on the inbounds play, but her shot over two Mustang defenders bounced off the rim. She was able to get a piece of the rebound only to go to the floor battling a teammate for the ball and was called for travelling.
With four seconds left and Heppner holding a 63-60 lead, Sarman fouled out and Heppner picked up one last free throw.
Union 64, Pilot Rock 63 OT
UNION — The Lady Cats handed Pilot Rock a 64-63 loss in front a home crowd Friday, but they needed an extra four minutes to do it.
It was the second league loss for Pilot Rock, after the former top-ranked Rockets dropped a 42-35 decision to Enterprise in their Blue Mountain Conference opener.
Sarah Good’s basket in overtime was the difference maker.
Sarman had a game-high 26 points, while Amber Fiorito added 11.