HAWKINS — The Canton Lady Eagles came out red-hot and shot out to a 16-4, first quarter lead over the Lady Buckeyes and appeared to be in control.
Not according to freshman Ashlyn Ray of Gilmer in the final minutes.
Ray, along with a game-high 14-points from Jasmin Jones, powered the Lady Buckeyes to a come-from-behind 46-43 Class 3A bi-district win at Hawkins High School gymnasium on Monday night.
Two huge free throws and a basket from Ray proved to be the difference maker for the winning Lady Buckeyes.
Gilmer made a 10-2 run early in the second quarter to close the gap to 18-14, before Canton head coach Dana Irvin called timeout to slow the rally. The strategy worked as the Lady Eagles began to creep away again for a 10-point lead after Victoria Smith made a free throw for a 24-14 advantage.
Down the stretch, free throws by Canton’s Victoria Smith and a basket from Lilly Nelson pulled the Lady Eagles within 44-43 with 11-seconds remaining. Ray was fouled in the backcourt.
Ray settled in and iced the win making both tosses for a 46-43 Gilmer advantage with nine-seconds left in regulation.
Canton quickly advanced the ball, but a 3-point attempt failed.
Ray finished with 10 points while teammate Jones led all scorers with 14-points.
Canton got two 3-pointers and a team-high 13-points from Kassidy Wilkerson.
Jameekia Homer came up big with six of her eight-points in the final period but more importantly grabbed 12 rebounds for the Lady Buckeyes.
Gilmer (21-10) advances to the area round against Liberty-Eylau later this week.
Class 3A Bi-District Girls Basketball
At Hawkins High School Gymnasium, Hawkins
Canton 43, Gilmer 46
Canton 16 8 12 7 — 43
Gilmer 4 14 10 18 — 46
CANTON – Holly Raitz, 2; Deanna Childers, 6; Emery Elliot, 6; Victoria Smith, 5; Kassidy Wilkerson, 13; Lilly Nelson, 9; Lauryn Reynolds, 2.
GILMER – Christian Brown, 6; Ashlyn Ray, 10; Jasmin Jones, 14; Diamond Shaw, 6; Jameekia Homer, 8; Lativia Johnson, 2.
THREE-POINT GOALS – C: Wilkerson 2. G: none.
RECORDS – Canton 15-17. Gilmer 21-10.
NEXT UP – Gilmer vs. Liberty-Eylau, TBD.