PANAMA CITY — Monday’s Bay-Rutherford girls basketball game wasn’t about which team had the ball last to win. It was about which let the game slip away last.
That was Rutherford, which battled back from a third-quarter hole only to toss away its later scoring chances in Bay’s 41-40 victory at the John L. Cobb Gymnasium. The Tornadoes built an advantage behind dominance in the post, but they moved away from the inside game and suffered in the District 1-5A contest. They were able to hold on to even the season series between the two teams.
Tatyanna Bell led Rutherford with 12 points, but she was unable to push the Rams over the Tornadoes for a second time. She also took the Rams’ next-to-last shot that bounced off the rim with two seconds left while also losing control of the ball on final rallies.
Bay (6-7, 4-1) moved out to its second largest lead, 22-16, in the third quarter behind the inside play of Anissa Martin. She led all scorers with 19 points, but the effort couldn’t hold off Rutherford, which grabbed a 28-26 lead on a Alisha Williams 3-pointer late in the third.
The game was knotted at 31-all at the end of three quarters. The Rams took advantage of Bay’s mounting turnovers, 12 in the second half and 22 for the game, and surged to its largest lead, 38-33, on two Bell free throws with five minutes left.
Scores by Jasmine James and Whitney Peterson narrowed the gap to 38-37 before a Lea Watson counter gave the Rams a three-point edge with four minutes to go. Jasmine Edwards’ lone score of the game pulled Bay within one and Martin capped the tally with just less than three minutes on the clock.
Neither team scored the rest of the way. Rutherford had turnovers on three of its last four possessions, including two on passes that Bell was unable to corral. Bell’s miss gave Rutherford possession with two seconds left and a last shot from the corner was well off the mark.
Bay was unable to increase the lead despite outrebounding Rutherford 39-24. The Rams’ inside game, highlighted by Marsheba Addison, who scored 11 points, also was inconsistent. Coach Allen Kelly noted the Rams (6-6, 2-3) started to rely on the long-range shot, which did help them recover in the third quarter, but the lack of inside presence didn’t help them later in the game.
James added nine points for Bay, which led 10-3 at the end of the first quarter. Watson scored eight points for Rutherford, which amassed more points in the third quarter (19) than it did in the first half (12).
Rutherford won the JV game 20-11.
Rutherford hosts Pensacola West Florida Tech on Wednesday. Bay is at Arnold on Thursday.
Carroll 2 2-4 6, Watson 4 0-0 8, Bell 3 5-6 12, Addison 5 0-0 11, Williams 1 0-2 3. Totals 15 7-12 40.
Edwards 1 0-1 2, James 4 1-2 9, Kelso 4 1-2 9, Chancey 0 0-1 0, Martin 8 3-7 19, Peterson 1 0-2 2. Totals 18 5-15 41.
Rutherford 3 9 19 9 — 40
Bay 10 6 15 10 — 41
3-point field goals: Rutherford 3 (Bell, Addison, Williams). Rebounds: Rutherford 24, Bay 39. Turnovers: Rutherford 15, Bay 22. Team fouls: Rutherford 16, Bay 11. Fouled out: None.