Hannibal trailed by 11 points with six minutes remaining when it staged a comeback against South Shelby at a summer tournament in Branson.
The Hannibal girls basketball team was down but not out Sunday against South Shelby during the semifinal game of the Mid-America Youth Basketball summer tournament at Branson High School.
Hannibal trailed by 11 points with six minutes of running clock remaining when it staged a comeback to remember.
The Lady Pirates closed their deficit to five points with under 20 seconds remaining. Emma Deien nailed a key 3-pointer, and the Lady Cardinals turned the ball over on the ensuing inbounds play. With 4.3 seconds remaining, Autumn Bigsby was fouled and converted two free throws to force overtime.
Hannibal held its own in the extra period to win 46-43.
“All of a sudden, our kids decided that we would turn it up a notch,” Hannibal coach Ben Jamerson said. “We just took it away from there.”
Hannibal advanced to the championship game but ultimately lost to a 17U AAU team based near Springfield, Missouri.
In claiming the semifinal victory, however, Hannibal earned redemption against a South Shelby squad that blew the Lady Pirates out twice this summer — including the day before the come-from-behind win.
“We had gone to South Shelby at their place at their shootout,” Jamerson explained. “It didn't go very well. We went all the way down to Branson and they took it to us again. We weren't ready for them (the first game on Saturday).”
That all changed in the late moments of the semifinal Sunday morning.
“Overall, I thought we showed a lot of growth over the 24 hours worth of basketball that we played,” the coach said.
A pair of Hannibal freshmen, Allie Hull and Ellie Locke, continue to grow into their roles within the program, while returning players such as Keri Bareis emerge in their leadership roles for the squad.
Bareis played point guard over the weekend and was put in positions on the floor she is unaccustomed to. Her mental toughness impressed her coach.
“You can tell she really started thinking a lot more,” Jamerson said. “Against South Shelby, she played like a different player than I had ever seen out of her. She did a very good job and showed a lot of leadership.”
Jamerson also credited Mariah Strong, Abby Baumann and Bigsby as key contributors to the team's 2-3 record at the tournament, which included a victory over Bonner Springs of the Kansas City area.
Bigsby tested her mettle playing defense down low.
“Autumn had never guarded post,” Jamerson said. “We're going to need her length underneath sometimes.”
The Branson tournament was Hannibal's final competitive event of the summer.
“That's it for our summer as far as competitive basketball goes,” Jamerson said. “We won several games and were learning and growing together.”