Madison Central and Walton Verona needed three overtimes to determine a winner in the first round of the Gateway Holiday Classic Wednesday night at Montgomery County High School.
Unfortunately for the Lady Indians, they ended up on the wrong side of the scoreboard, falling to the Bearcats, 75-68.
Central (6-3) blew a big fourth-quarter lead, rallied in the first overtime, made an improbable, nearly miraculous comeback in the second overtime, but ran out of gas in the third overtime.
“I thought we were very resilient tonight,” Central coach Robbie Cooksey said. “We never gave up. On the scoreboard they lost, but I think we showed that even when we get down we can battle back and we can do it more than once.”
Central led the entire first quarter, before falling behind 14-13 in the opening minute of the second quarter.
The Lady Indians quickly regained the lead on a jumper by Kristen Congleton and held the lead until the final minute of the game.
Central led 47-40 heading into the fourth quarter, and went up 52-43 with six minutes to play.
The Lady Indians went stone cold, scoring one point the rest of the way as Walton Verona slowly chipped into the lead, tying the game with 1:15 remaining on a basket by Courtney Sandlin.
Central ran the clock down to the final seconds, but a potential game-winner by Larryn Brooks was off the mark.
In the first overtime, Walton-Verona led 56-55 and 58-56.
Walton-Verona had the ball and was attempting to run out the clock.
With 17.5 seconds remaining, Brooks stole the ball and it ended up in the hands of Ashton Feldhaus, who scored off the glass to tie the game.
The Bearcats shot an airball as time expired, sending the game to a second overtime.
Central could not buy a basket in the second overtime, falling behind 64-58 with 29 seconds remaining.
Chrystal Miller scored off an offensive rebound to cut it to 64-60.
Brooks then picked off a pass.
Her shot was off the mark, but Aleia Minter grabbed the rebound and scored to pull Central within 64-62 with 10 seconds left.
On the other end, Walton-Verona missed a pair of free throws.
Feldhaus hauled in the rebound, sent an outlet to Brooks and she was off and running, putting up a shot just before the buzzer sounded.
The shot was true, forcing a third overtime.
Central was outscored 11-4 in the third overtime.
Feldhaus led the Indians with 19 points and seven rebounds.
Brooks had 14 points and Bailey O’Bryan finished with 10 points.
Minter scored eight points, Miller had seven points, Congleton scored four points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Ashley Hinkle and Heather Hinkle each finished with three points.
Central continues play in the tournament today against Bryan Station (5-7).
Bryan Station, which beat Central 58-48 earlier this season, lost on Wednesday to undefeated Clay County, 55-21.
Tip-off is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.