Sterling tops Cheney in OT

In a feature game of the HOA/CPL Challenge, the Sterling Black Bears topped Cheney 46-43, needing overtime to overcome the home Cardinals.

Both teams entered ranked second in their respective classifications, Sterling #2 in Class 2A and Cheney in 3A, and both are also coming off state runner-up finishes last season.

Knowing all of that, this one lived up to the hype.

The first quarter was as fast paced as they come. Both teams running the court, playing press defense, with Sterling jumping out to an 18-14 lead through the opening eight minutes.

The Black Bears kept it going, scoring a quick four points in the second to make it an 8-0 run and force a Cheney timeout. From there, the Cheney offense picked back up, and their defense went into lockdown mode. Sterling scored just 3 points the final 7-plus minutes of the half as the Cardinals cut it to a 25-22 game at half.

Then after half Kylee Scheer started to take over for Cheney. The reigning 3A player of the year scored the first 7 points of the quarter for the Cardinals, tying the game up at 27 with the tie game holding until the fourth.

Sterling went back up in the fourth before Cheney again came back, getting their first lead since the opening quarter, only for Sterling to go back up 38-37.

Then with just over a minute to play, Scheer came through from deep, hitting three more of her game high 25 points to put the Cardinals back up 40-38.

But with under a minute to go, Sterling drew a foul, hitting both shots to tie the game at 40, and locked down Scheer's final attempt at a game winner to send the game into overtime.

Then in OT, Sterling's Sadie Beagley gave the Black Bears a lead they wouldn't relinquishm knocking down two free throws before Makenna Linden hit a bucket to make it 45-40 with a minute to play, and they never looked back in the 46-43 win.

Linden finished with a team high 15 points for Sterling and Beagley 13 as the Black Bears improved to 5-0 on the season. The loss is the first of the year for Cheney, dropping them to 4-1 ahead of winter break.