By Paul Wilcoxen
MOUNT CARMEL — It took an extra four minutes, but the Mount Carmel Lady Aces escaped Thursday’s opening Pool play contest at the Toyota Gibson County Teamwork Classic with a 51-45 victory over Mt. Vernon (IN) in girls high school basketball action.
“We hadn’t played for a week so the rust showed,” said Mount Carmel coach Tim Willis. “We have a lot of kids that haven’t really practiced. We definitely looked rusty but we did enough to get the win, and that’s ultimately all that matters.”
The Lady Aces had a chance to win it in regulation, but Kylie Applebey’s jumper was offline sending the game into overtime.
“Defensively, I thought we did some nice things late in the game,” said Willis. “I thought we executed well with the last shot in regulation. We didn’t make it but I was really pleased that we executed and got the shot that we were looking for.”
In the extra time, Mount Carmel hit nothing but free throws finishing the overtime 9-for-14 from the line.
In overtime I felt comfortable and got things back under control and we kind of controlled the overtime from the start.,” said Willis.
“We're beat up and we have a couple kids that are sick. But, everybody’s got that. You’ve just got to go out and do the best you can and go from there and that’s what we did. Ultimately, in a couple years, nobody’s going to ask how you played. They just care about the win-loss record and this one will look pretty good.”
Applebey led the way with 16 points. Haley Maguire finished with 10. Paige Robinson finished with a game-high 19 for Mt. Vernon.
The Lady Aces are 9-4 overall and 1-0 in Pool play. Mount Carmel will face Gibson Southern tonight at 5:30. The Titans are also 1-0 as they defeated Mt. Vernon Tuesday night.
“It just keeps getting tougher,” said Willis on facing Gibson Southern.
The winner will play Castle in Saturday’s championship. The loser will play in the third-place game. All games Saturday are played at Princeton Community High School.