Assistant Sports Editor
MANCHESTER -- The Burr and Burton Academy girls basketball team tried everything it could to slow down Springfield’s Chelsea McAllister.
But McAllister was able to throw everything right back at them, and in the end her game-high 25 points led the Cosmos to a 50-47 win over the Bulldogs in overtime on Wednesday night.
"[McAllister] put on a great display," BBA coach Ed Panzarino said. "We really tried to stop her, and she was still hitting it pretty good."
With Springfield trailing 42-38 late in the fourth, McAllister hit teammate Corrina Nichols (7 points) on a long inbounds pass for a layup to make it a two-point contest, then she drew a foul on Hayley Sabol, fouling Sabol out, and hit one of two free throws to make it a one-point game.
Hailey Brockett was able to draw a foul down the other end for BBA, and proceeded to make one of the two shots to push the lead back out to two.
But with time winding down, McAllister was able to pick the ball up at halfcourt, dribble to the lane and draw a foul that sent her to the line with 2.7 seconds left.
She hit both to send it into overtime, then she opened the extra period with a three and a coast-to-coast layup to give the Cosmos a 48-43 lead the team would not relinquish.
"Chelsea is a third-year starter for me," Springfield coach Joe Brown said. "Chelsea can’t do it without those four girls on the court, but she played hard today and threw her body around quite a bit."
Burr and Burton opened the game as the hotter team, with Sabol (5 points) and Olson Humphrey (6 points) both scoring four in the opening frame to give the Bulldogs a 13-4 edge.
But from the second quarter on, the Cosmos kept chipping away at the lead.
Buckets by Nichols and McAllister to close the half cut the deficit to 26-20.
To start the third, BBA would open the lead back up to 10 with two buckets by Hannah Nicholson (8 points) and a pair of free throws from Stephanie Boucher (4 points) to make it 34-24.
But the Cosmos stormed back to end the half, scoring the final five points of the quarter to cut it to 38-34 heading into the fourth.
"I think we got off to a good start," Panzarino said. "Offensively, we were all over the place, throwing the ball away. They kept coming at us, and we buckled a little bit. We had a lead but let them back in. Open plays, missed assignments, shifted momentum to their side.
In the fourth, the team exchanged buckets until it was 42-38, then McAllister took over.
"When [Sabol] fouled out, that hurt us," Panzarino said. "She plays good on-ball defense."
The team also had to deal with the loss of Maggie Oliver, who injured her already-hurt knee in the first quarter and was unable to return.
McAllister finished with a double-double, adding 12 rebounds to her 25 points. Nicholson finished with 10 rebounds, and Humphrey pulled down seven in the losing effort.
BBA falls to 0-1, while Springfield moves to 2-0