Kyera Thornsbury and the Belfry Lady Pirates refused to lose Wednesday night in the opening round of the 15th Region Tournament at the Appalachian Wireless Arena.
Belfry trailed Floyd Central 54-53 with just 38 seconds left to play.
Thornsbury drove the lane and made a move to get open. She put up the shot, the whistle blew for a foul as the shot fell through the net. She then stepped to the free-throw line to give the Lady Pirates a 56-54 lead.
Floyd Central had another chance. The Lady Jaguars went for a three and the win, but Floyd Central came up with its own offensive rebound, but again the Lady Jaguars went for the three instead of the tie and once again, the shot fell short.
Belfry snatched the rebound and Cushi Fletcher was fouled with just 10 seconds left. Fletcher split her free throws.
Floyd Central had one last shot, but instead of going for the three and tie, the Lady Jaguars shot an 18 footer that came up short.
“All of the girls are always wanting me to play point guard,” Thornsbury said. “They always are wanting me to make the pass or the shot, so I knew that I had to step up before the game started. I had to play a bigger role than what I normally do.
“That felt great. It felt awesome. I felt a big rush go over my body. When I made it, I turned around and saw everybody from Pond Creek Nation standing up. All the bench and all the fans were standing up cheering. It just made my (Thornsbury) day.”
Thornsbury finished with a game-high 21 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Thornsbury got off to a hot start in the first quarter. She scored 10 points in the opening quarter as Belfry jumped out to an 18-7 lead after the first quarter of play.
Floyd Central came storming back in the second quarter.
Grace Martin opened the second with a basket and Katie Moore followed with a three as the Belfry lead shrank to 18-12 with 6:15 left in the first half.
Fletcher split a pair of free throws to push the Lady Pirates’ lead to 19-12.
Kennedy Harvel followed with a three for the Lady Jaguars. Martin followed with back-to-back baskets as Floyd Central cut the lead to 21-19 with 4:03 left.
Alyssa Varney answered with a three for the Lady Pirates as the lead grew to 24-19.
Moore fired back a three of her own for the Lady Jaguars as she cut the lead to 24-22 with 2:35 left.
Fletcher answered Moore’s three with a three of her own to give the Lady Pirates a 27-22 halftime lead.
Fletcher finished the game with 18 points, eight rebounds, and three steals. Jenna Sparks added 11 points and a game-high 12 rebounds with four blocked shots for the Lady Pirates.
Moore led the Lady Jaguars with 19 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals. Harvel added 11 points and Kamryn Shannon added nine for Floyd Central.
Belfry controlled the third quarter.
The Lady Pirates opened the third with a 14-3 lead to take a 40-27 lead over Floyd Central with 2:39 left to play.
Harvel stopped the bleeding by knocking down a three for the Lady Jaguars with 2:15 left to cut the lead to 40-30. Belfry held a 45-35 lead heading into the final quarter of play.
The Lady Jaguars controlled the fourth as they opened the quarter on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 45-42 with 6:45 left.
Kyra Justice got the Lady Pirates on the board by splitting a pair of free throws with 6:16 left.
Natalie Holle scored and was fouled for the Lady Jaguars with 6:16 to play; she knocked down the free throw to tie things up at 45-45.
Shannon knocked down a three with 3:03 left to put Floyd Central up 52-50.
Sparks came up with a big offensive rebound and put back score with 2:04 for the Lady Pirates to cut the Floyd Central lead to 54-53.
That set up the wild finish and Thornsbury’s game winner.
Floyd Central finished the season with a 17-6 record.
Belfry — Kyera Thornsbury 21, Cushi Fletcher 18, Jenna Sparks 11, Kyra Justice 4, Alyssa Varney 3.
Floyd Central — Katie Jo Moore 19, Kennedy Harvel 11, Kamryn Shannon 9, Grace Martin 6, Natalie Holle 5, Jada Johnson 4.