The Marion County girls basketball team beat the buzzer to force overtime but fell to Novinger 55-54 on Friday night.
Payton Hays cleaned up real well Friday night.
The Marion County junior pulled down 25 rebounds to go along with 19 points to help the host Lady Mustangs on a quest for their first win of the season.
But even her career night wasn't enough.
Teammate Sadie Spratt banked in a game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer to force overtime, but visiting Novinger broke the Lady Mustangs' hearts by escaping with a 55-54 win.
Marion County (0-11) led by as many as four points during the extra session before coming up short.
“What hurt us was missed free throws and fouling too much in overtime when we were ahead,” Marion County coach Megan Zook said.
Spratt drained five shots from beyond the arc in the first half to give Marion County a 26-25 edge at the intermission. The junior led all scorers with 23 points, fueled by seven threes, and also recorded four assists and five rebounds.
“Shots were falling for her tonight,” Zook said of Spratt, praising her top scorer. “Can't say it was anything special. When Sadie gets her feet set, watch out.”
Hays, who finished with a team-high five assists and three steals, scored a pair of buckets in the third quarter to help Marion County maintain a 36-35 lead entering the final period.
Hays and Spratt combined for nine points in the fourth to keep the Lady Mustangs' chances alive.
The dynamic duo accounted for all but 12 of Marion County's points on the night, with Makenzie Crook, Jordan Chatfield and Aimee Glaspie each accounting for four a piece.
“Payton and Sadie really put on a show tonight,” Zook said. “It was fun to watch all the girls contribute in a way. I have pushed work ethic and being committed throughout the season, and tonight was a night that those two things stood out.”
The squads were knotted at 47 entering overtime.
Hays delivered five points in the extra session to set Marion County up for the win, but free throws loomed large.
Novinger converted five freebies in overtime and shot 10-of-22 from the line overall, while Marion County made just 1-of-3 free throws during the extra time and 3-of-14 on the night.
Kendra Frederick scored 15 points for the Wildcats (1-9), who secured their first victory of the season.