FORSYTH -- Warner Robins worked so hard to get to overtime and then got the lead in the opening seconds.
And that was on the road against an undefeated team. But then that undefeated team tightened up, and Warner Robins’ energy level was sapped, opening the door for Mary Persons to take a 70-58 overtime win Tuesday night in non-region girls basketball.
“We didn’t finish too well at the end of regulation,” Mary Persons head coach Kurt Greene said. “Then in overtime, I thought we played well. We had chances to blow it, but we didn’t.”
Mary Persons improved to 13-0 while Warner Robins fell to 8-5.
The Warner Robins girls battled back from a 15-point third-quarter deficit, taking a one-point lead with 35.6 seconds left on Dacien Ambler’s two free throws. The Bulldogs regained the lead a few seconds later on Allyssah Mullis’ bucket low off a nice pass from Tyesha Davis.
Warner Robins was called for a turnover on a very close sideline play, thanks to Davis’ defense.
After a flurry of action, and a three-shot Warner Robins trip, India King was fouled with four-tenths of a second left. Her first shot was right of the rim, but she drained the second to force overtime.
Tesia Walker caught Ambler’s pass for a score and Warner Robins’ first lead since early in the game.
But the good fortune didn’t last, between Mary Persons’ picking up the pace and Warner Robins running low on energy. The Bulldogs scored twice off of turnovers, one forced and one unforced, and the Demons just couldn’t answer the rest of the way.
“We gave it all we had to get in the overtime,” Warner Robins head coach Tom Mobley said. “Then we didn’t have much gas in the tank for the overtime.”
Davis scored 33 for Mary Persons, Asiana Almon and Kver Shannon adding 11 each. Ambler led Warner Robins with 13 while Aaliyah Grace added 12.
The Bulldogs got five points from Mercer-bound KeKe Calloway, who didn’t play from the middle of the second quarter on.
“I don’t think she felt very good,” Greene said. “She just didn’t seem to have a desire to run up and down the floor. I don’t know if it was because she was sick or what.”
But Davis came up huge.
“Turnovers killed us in overtime,” Mobley said. “(Davis) killed us in overtime. (Davis) is a winner. She’s got a lot of heart, a lot of character, a lot of talent. She’s a winner.”
Warner Robins’ boys took control early, held off a second-quarter rally and cruised in the second half to a 76-49 win.
The Demons had to deal with a comeback after taking a 19-5 first-quarter lead and watching Mary Persons cut it to two possessions in the second quarter.
The Demons’ nine-point halftime lead only grew the rest of the way as they showed balance and took advantage of a size edge, with four players in double figures, led by Marquez Callaway’s 15. Donovan Brown, a 6-foot-6 junior, added 13 with Stephone Raybon and Myles Dudley added 11 each.
Sophomore guard Roger Akins led the Bulldogs with 15.