The red-hot No. 5 seed Lady Shamrocks of Barnesville High continued to shine on Wednesday night with a gut-wrenching 53-47 upset over second-seeded Garaway High in a double-overtime thriller in the Division III District semi-finals inside of Gene Ford Gymnasium at Cambridge High School.
Barnesville, winners of seven straight games and 13 of their last 14, received a monster triple-double effort from 6-4 junior Dulcie Christman in the winning effort.
The Lady 'Rocks stuck to the same strategy they have been using throughout the second half of the season... and that is dominating in the paint on both sides of the ball.
"Defense and solid play in the paint has been the difference-maker for us in the second half of the season and tonight," exclaimed Barnesville coach Jamie Carpenter. "Garaway drives to the hoop and creates shots. We just played solid defense in the paint and kept our hands in the face of the shooters.
"Dulcie completely controlled the paint," added Carpenter. "We knew we had a height advantage coming in and we just wanted to get the ball to Dulcie. She has done a great job for us."
Christman finished the contest with 17 points on an 8-of-15 shooting performance to go along with 18 rebounds and 10 blocks.
The Barnesville defense was nearly impenetrable in the first quarter as it did not allow Garaway to score until the 1:35 mark.
"Triples" by senior Kallee Dowler and junior Sarah Powell lifted the Lady Shamrocks to an early 8-6 lead after one quarter of play.
The second round was back-and-forth from start to finish with Dowler leading the way for the Lady 'Rocks with seven second-quarter points while Zoe Johnson was a perfect 5-of-5 in the stanza recording 11 points for the Lady Pirates.
Garaway slipped away with a 16-15 scoring edge in the second round but still trailed Barnesville 23-22 at the halftime break.
After a pair of buckets by Christman and a big put-back by junior Abby Starr to open the third quarter, the Lady 'Rocks found themselves up 29-22 with four minutes remaining.
"Abby had a couple of huge put-backs for us tonight," Carpenter said. "She is kind of the unsung hero because both of her baskets were at the perfect time."
However, the Lady Pirates came storming back thanks to a "trey" by Hallie Shutt and four consecutive free-throws made by Madeline Steiner cutting their deficit down to 31-30 with 2:24 left on the clock.
Dowler buried her third three-pointer of the game to give her squad a 36-32 leading heading into the final quarter of regulation.
Shutt knocked down an early "trey" and then a pair of lay-ups to give Garaway its first lead since the second quarter at 42-40 with 2:05 remaining. Dowler knocked down a pair of "freebees"for Barnesville and tied the contest at 42 a-piece heading into overtime.
Both squads put up five spots in the first overtime to tie the game at 47 each, but the Lady 'Rocks ran away with the win in the second overtime outscoring the Lady Pirates 6-0 to claim the victory and advance to the D-III District Championship.
"This team doesn't believe they are ever beat," offered Carpenter. "Garaway is the second seed in our district for a reason. That is a great basketball team right there but we came in believing we had a chance. We just had to go out and play our game and we did just that."
Dowler received game-high scoring honors with 20 points while Christman finished with 17 and junior Sarah Powell tacked on eight for BHS.
Barnesville out rebounded Garaway 47-34 with Christman leading the way recording 18 boards followed by Starr with seven and Dowler with five while Powell dished out five of the Lady 'Rocks' 12 assists.
For the Lady Pirates, Johnson led the way with 14 counters followed by Steiner with 11, Shutt with 10 and Sydney Mullet tacked on nine in the losing effort.
Johnson recorded 10 boards giving her a double-double while Shutt hauled in six caroms and Steiner recorded six steals to go along with a trio of boards and a pair of assists.
With the victory, the Lady 'Rocks improved to 17-7 on the year and advanced to the District finals to take on Tusky Valley who defeated Ridgewood High in the other match-up. Garaway, was knocked out of the tournament and concluded its season with final record of 17-7.
NEXT -- Barnesville will take on Tusky Valley on Saturday at Cambridge, with start time slated for 1 p.m.