By GREG MENGELT
Eastern senior Rachel Hamilton put back a Katie Ernstberger missed a shot just before the buzzer at the end of the first overtime for a 60-58 victory over Charlestown on Friday.
With the game tied at 48-apiece, Ernstberger was able to dribble the clock down to 7.9 seconds left when Musketeer coach Mike McBride called timeout. Eastern got the ball into the hands of Ernstberger, who had a game-high 23 points in the win. Her runner in the lane with four seconds left came up short, but Hamilton was there to bank in the winner.
“This was a phenomenal game,” McBride said. “Credit goes to both teams. Charlestown played hard. Our girls have worked so hard all year and they deserved this [win].”
Eastern got into overtime thanks to Ernstberger. Trailing 27-22 at the half, the Musketeer senior point guard scored 13 points in the third quarter to help her team to take a 46-41 advantage after three quarters. Eastern outscored Charlestown 24-14 in the third.
“One of our goals was to get our offense going,” McBride said. “Tonight, we were fortunate to put some points on the board.”
Charlestown charged back in the fourth. Kaitlynn Henning stripped Ernstberger and went the other way for a bucket that gave the Pirates a 53-51 lead with five seconds left in regulation.
However, Ernstberger was able to get into the lane and draw a foul from Megan Brooks — her fifth — with :00.1 seconds showing on the clock.
Ernstberger stepped to the foul line with the game on the line and swished a pair of free throws to get the Musketeers into the extra frame.
“That was huge,” McBride said. “Katie’s been our go-to player all year. We want the ball in her hands in those situations.”
Henning led the Pirates with 21 points, including nine of the Pirates’ 14 in the third and six of their 12 in the fourth as Charlestown rallied from as many as five points down. Brooks added 11 points, going 6-of-7 from the foul line. Charlestown’s Justice Burdin, who spent much of the contest in foul trouble, scored just eight points.
Freshman Taylor Drury scored 13 points and Brooke Rodewig added 10 to go along with Ernstberger’s 23 for the victorious Musketeers, who are 9-5 overall and 3-2 in the Mid-Southern Conference. They’ve won two straight after a three-game losing streak that stretched from the end of 2013 and to the beginning of 2014. The Musketeers will be back in action next Tuesday when they go to Austin for another MSC contest.
The Pirates, who are 8-5 overall and 3-3 in the MSC after dropping three straight games, will host Providence on Friday and New Albany next Tuesday.
EASTERN 60, CHARLESTOWN 58 (OT)
Charlestown 10 17 14 12 5—58
Eastern 8 14 24 7 7—60
Charlestown (8-5, 3-3 MSC): Kaitlynn Henning 21, Lexi Logsdon 6, Shelby Goedeker 1, Jessica Farmer 0, Megan Brooks 11, Lauren Crowe 4, Hayley Layton 2, Justice Burdin 6, Kim Knight 4, Bethany Hall 3.
Eastern (9-5, 3-2): Katie Ernstberger 23, Taylor Drury 13, Rebekah Feist 3, Bailey England 4, Kaitlyn Stewart 3, Brooke Rodewig 10, Rachel Hamilton 4.
3-point field goals: Charlestown 2 (Henning, Hall); Eastern 0.
Free throws: Charlestown 18-23, Eastern 7-15.
Total fouls: Charlestown 31, Eastern 29.
Fouled out: Charlestown — Farmer, Brooks.
Junior varsity: Eastern 25-19.