MURRAY – Allie York’s putback basket as time ran out lifted Marshall County to a 61-60 victory and the Fourth District basketball tournament championship over Murray Thursday night.
The offensive rebound of Alyssa Barnard’s missed shot was York’s 13th board of the night. The basket was her seventh in 10 attempts. But the overall excellence of her game was eclipsed by the instant bedlam that reigned after the Lady Marshals’ stunning win.
Murray had taken the lead on one of two free throws by Janssen Starks at 60-59 with five seconds left to play. The Lady Marshals inbounded the ball and called time out. With two seconds on the clock, freshman center Alyssa Barnard took a pass into the low post, turned and put up a shot.
It came off the rim, and York immediately put it back up and in.
The bang-bang play left a moment in which Murray and its home-court fans thought it had won before a referee’s emphatic signal that the Lady Marshal basket was good.
Senior point guard Tory Fehrenbacher strayed from her usual strict playmaker role and drove to the basket at every opportunity. She led the Lady Marshals with 17 points.
York had 15 and Taylor Meadows 11.
Murray’s top two scorers, Haley Armstrong and Janssen Starks, struggled. Armstrong netted only nine and Starks, on the bench for more than 10 of the 36 minutes of play because of foul trouble, finished with 10.
Shelby Crouch had 15 for the Lady Tigers, followed by Julie Thiede with 12 and Kalai Trice with 10.
Murray, which had overpowered Calloway County in a semifinal game Tuesday, started strong and built an 18-11 lead after one quarter of play. The Lady Marshals cut the lead to 33-29 at halftime and the game was nip-and-tuck the rest of the way, tied at 41-41 at the third quarter stop and 55-55 at the end of regulation.
In the extra period, neither team had more than a two-point lead. Murray scored its five points on eight chances from the free-throw line, while Marshall got baskets from Meadows, Barnard and York to edge the Lady Tigers. The Lady Marshals did not shoot a free throw in the extra period.
Fehrenbacher, Meadows and Mariah McKenty, who had 31 points in a first-round win over Community Christian Academy Monday, were all named to the all-tournament team.
Both teams advance to the First Region tournament next week at Murray State University. Marshall County is 24-8 after its ninth straight win. Murray is 23-8.
TONIGHT: Marshall County takes on Calloway County in the boys’ Fourth District basketball championship game Friday.
The Lakers defeated Murray 59-56 Wednesday night. Marshall County advanced by defeating Community Christian Academy 82-49 on Monday.
Calloway, 11-18, lost twice to 28-2 Marshall County during the regular season.
Look for district tournament coverage all week in the online edition of the Trib and comprehensive coverage, plus a regional tournament preview, in Tuesday’s print edition.