The New Franklin Lady Bulldogs basketball team could have thrown in the towel at numerous stages of the game Wednesday night against Father Tolton in the semifinal round of the Class 2 District 7 Tournament in Harrisburg.
After a disastrous start to the game while trailing Father Tolton 27-13 at the half, the Lady Bulldogs found a way to tie the game at the end of regulation and then  outscored the Trailblazers 13-6 in the overtime period for a 60-53 victory.
Of course it didn’t look good for New Franklin, who trailed Father Tolton 17-5 after one and 27-13 at the half. However, in the third quarter, the Lady Bulldogs cut the lead to four at 36-32 by outscoring the Trailblazers 19-9. Meanwhile, in the final period, New Franklin held a 15-11 advantage to tie the game at 47-all. The Lady Bulldogs never looked back after that by outscoring Father Tolton 13-6 in overtime for the victory.
Leading up to the overtime period, New Franklin coach Chris McGowan said the Lady Bulldogs found itself down by five with 32 seconds left after a missed shot. But after a rebound and putback by senior Jasmyne Boggs, McGowan said senior Aly Hundley got the rebound and put it back up for two points to cut the lead to one.
But it gets better. Junior Madi Lyons then went baseline on a post move and made it with about 10 seconds to go to put New Franklin up by one. Then, after fouling Father Tolton, the Lady Trailblazers  hit 1 of 2 free throws to tie the game.
“We had the ball with 7 seconds but couldn’t a get shot off,” McGowan said in regulation.
Of course Lady Bulldogs also made the most of the opportunity from the foul line in the fourth and overtime by hitting 16 of 25 shots compared to Father Tolton’s 4 of 12.
“This game was certainly a tale of two halves,” McGowan said. “In the first half, Father Tolton hit some threes to get out to a lead. We played way too fast offensively and tried to force too many things. We threw the ball away and took some poor shots which obviously made it hard to score. I thought late in the first half we really forced some shots. We regrouped at halftime and then made a number of jump shots to start the third quarter.
“We really cut into the lead and realized we had a chance in this game, and then it was a fight to the end. We were down five points with 32 seconds to go, and made some huge plays to take the lead and then eventually to go to overtime. In overtime we played very well and were able to get the victory. We need a couple of good days of practice and concentration as we get ready to play Harrisburg on Saturday.”
Hundley led three players in double figures for New Franklin with 22 points. She also had six rebounds, five assists and one steal.
Madi Lyons chipped in 17 points, two rebounds, two steals and one assist while Jasmyne Boggs added 12 points, 17 rebounds, two assists and one steal, Aislinn Himmelberg with four points, four rebounds and four steals, Kalani Pihana with three points, eight rebounds, one steal and one assist, Derian Dodson with two points, four rebounds and one steal and Sara Montgomery with two steals and one assist.
New Franklin also finished the game hitting 18 of 51 shots from the field for 35 percent and 20 of 34 from the foul line for 59 percent.
Hope Wright was the only player in double figures for Father Tolton with 13 points.