Eaglettes edged in OT hearbreaker, 61-56

Canton players, coaches and fans erupt after Hannah Manry knocked down a game-tying three-point field goal as time expired to send the Area round game against Henderson into overtime.



The Canton Eaglettes showed no shortage of grit throughout the 2017-'18 season, battling their way to a 30-6 record overall and a 9th place ranking among all 4A teams in the most recent Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Weekly Rankings heading into their Area round playoff matchup against the Henderson Lady Lions Feb. 16.

Canton’s season would come to a close against Henderson, however, as the Lady Lions managed to overcome a game-tying three-pointer just before the final buzzer to edge past the Eaglettes in an overtime thriller, 61-56.

Freshman point guard Alexis Calderon was stellar for Henderson in the first quarter, connecting on several long three-pointers and contested shots in the lane to help the Lady Lions establish a lead that would last much of the night. Through one quarter of play, Henderson led the Eaglettes 24-16.

Canton began to get a better handle of the Henderson offensive attack in the second quarter, limiting Calderon and the rest of the Lady Lions to cut the halftime deficit down to 34-32.

Ashley Wood proved to be Canton's best offensive weapon in the first half, matching Calderon's outburst with 15 points to lead the Eaglettes. Kenley Nixon finished the first half with eight points and Hannah Manry added seven.

Henderson managed to maintain a lead throughout the third quarter, answering virtually every Canton basket with a timely score of their own to maintain a four-point lead, 45-41.

Fourth quarter play virtually mirrored the third as the Lady Lions continued to do just enough to keep Canton from tying the contest or taking lead.

Henderson looked to have a golden opportunity to put the game out of reach for good as Alexis Calderon was fouled with 12.3 seconds left for two free throws and the Lady Lions clinging to a 56-53.

With the raucous Canton cheering section continuing to bring the same energy and enthusiasm that they had throughout the night, Calderon missed both attempts to keep the Eaglettes' slim hopes alive.

Kayden Prox coralled the rebound on Calderon's second miss on the low block, dribbling the ball through traffic and towards the front court with seconds ticking away. Prox would find an open Olivia Norrell on the right wing moments later, who subsequently swung the ball to an open Hannah Manry in the corner. Manry let loose a game-tying three-point attempt over the outstretched arms of a late-closing Henderson defender with 3.9 seconds to play.

Manry’s shot would swish through the hoop with 2.7 seconds to play, giving the Eaglettes a tie or lead in the contest for the first time since the first quarter and sending the Canton cheering section and bench into a frenzy. 

Henderson would not get off another shot in regulation, sending the game to overtime with the score tied at 56-56. Despite the late surge of energy brought on by the last-gasp three-pointer, Canton could not maintain their momentum in the overtime session as Henderson outscored the Eaglettes 5-0 to edge out a 61-56 win.

The win propelled the Lady Lions into the Regional Quarterfinal round for a game against the 17th ranked Gilmer Lady Buckeyes.


Leading scorers for the Eaglettes included Ashley Wood with 19, Hannah Manry with 15, Kenley Nixon with 10, Kyndall Nilius with six, and Olivia Norrell, Mattie Tullos and Kayden Prox with two points each. The Area round contest against Henderson marked the final appearance for three Eaglette players in a Canton basketball uniform: Larissa Holloway, Rachel Cade and Maddie Welty.