Two free throws by Samantha May with six seconds left in a Saturday game against Ten Sleep put the Lady Longhorns up by five, essentially clinching the win.
The 44-39 win upped the Meeteetse girls basketball team conference record to 5-0 and assured the Meeteetse girls will have the No. 1 seed going into the 1A Northwest Regional Tournament.
After wins over Ten Sleep in two hard-fought battles on their home court in January, the Lady Longhorns knew the road contest would be a battle from opening tipoff to the final buzzer.
“We knew this game would be tough, and we were in control most of the way,” said coach Ernie May.
When the teams first met Jan. 16 at the Little Six Tournament, Meeteetse edged Ten Sleep by three points in overtime play. A week after that 42-39 win, the Longhorns defeated Ten Sleep in a second close matchup, capturing a 41-36 conference home win.
Knowing Ten Sleep would not give up easily, the 'Horns knew a 12-point lead with four minutes left in the game was not enough to let their guard down. And for good reason. But when Ten Sleep cut the ’Horns’ lead to two with less than a minute remaining, the equally tenacious visitors refused to concede.
“The team worked really hard and we kept our heads up the whole game,” Samantha May said.
Ten Sleep was in the bonus, so coach May told his Meeteetse players to hold the ball on the rebound. Drawing the foul, Samantha May overcame the pressure and sank both shots.
“I felt nervous but confident going to the line,” she said.
Excited about the win, the team is ready to finish its last two regular-season games before heading into regional play, she added.
Sammy May led scoring with 14 points followed by Miya May’s nine. Abby May contributed 12 rebounds and six assists.
Coach May credited Lauren Shepperson for playing a solid game and controlling the key when she was on the court.
The team shot 13 for 19 from the free throw line.
“The girls have worked hard to get this far, and they are still focused on going undefeated in conference play,” Ernie May said.
The Lady ’Horns, now 11-7 overall, will strive to up their conference mark to 6-0 when they host to St. Stephens on Friday.