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It was a battle all night, but after a four-minute overtime, Hailey Lazarek's (11) Allen Park Jaguars topped the Truman Cougars in a Donwriver League battle. Photo by Dave Chapman

Basketball - Girls

GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Bowdell's near-perfect OT lifts Jags over Truman (PHOTO)

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Maybe last time the Allen Park girls’ basketball team played Truman, Casey Bowdell didn’t have quite as strong a night.

Maybe the team played a different defense and they didn’t have Arielle Gamble.

Okay, Bowdell had a pretty good night the last time but it was definitely a different defense and Gamble was still on the junior varsity squad.

Bowdell came up huge when it really mattered and Gamble dominated the glass all night in the Jaguars’ 46-39 overtime victory over the host Cougars.

In the loss to Truman earlier this season, Allen Park finished the game just 5-for-11 from the charity stripe.

In Thursday’s victory, Bowdell was 8-for-10 in the overtime alone.

With two big Truman scorers, the Jags knew a strong defense was key for a win.

“I’ve gotta give credit to my assistant coach Bill Borg,” Allen Park Coach Chuck Perez said. “He put in that defense to kind of contain (Judah Frazier) and (April Micheaux) and obviously the girls did the job of what they had to do.”

The Jags held Frazier scoreless through the first while Micheaux scored five but it would be almost all of her night’s scoring.

Truman held a 10-8 advantage after the first before the Jags kicked things up in the middle quarters.

The Cougars had a hard time getting inside and through the Jaguar wall and managed only 16 points in the second and third combined while Allen Park put up 26.

It was 20-16 at the half and a comfortable 34-26 after three for Allen Park. But the Cougars weren’t comfortable with that and made it a game right away in the fourth and held the Jags to just two points in the final quarter.

With 4:03 left to play, things got tight.

Truman was down 34-30 but a triple from Frazier put the Cougars right back in the game. Fifteen seconds later she tied the game at 34 with one free throw on a two-shot attempt.

With 2:25 to go, Caprice King came up with a field goal that gave Truman it’s first lead since the opening quarter and things got frazzling as some uncharacteristic mistakes were made and timeouts were called.

“We talked about being patient,” Perez said. “It seemed like we were rushing too much.

“They went to a man and we wanted to rush so we were talking about taking care of the ball. Obviously they were gonna be over playing so we wanted more fake passes and just taking care of the ball.”

Truman still had the lead with 1:37 to go, but Allen Park got possession back when Truman didn’t inbound the ball in enough time.

With time running out, Bowdell quickly inbounded the ball and it found its way to Olivia Keeley who tied things right back up.

Some big scrambles and another big Bowdell block ran the clock out and forced overtime.

It was all Bowdell in overtime as the Cougars were forced to foul to get possession back and the senior captain went to the charity stripe 10 times, knocking down eight shots and adding a field goal to account for all the scoring.

Truman’s only points in the four-minute overtime came from King with a field goal and a free throw.

“Allen Park did a good job of making free throws in the overtime period,” Truman Coach Chad Putnam said. “It just shows you the importance of stepping to the free throw line.

“Anytime during the game they’re hugely important and Allen Park did a really good job of making free throws late in the game.”

Despite the loss, Putnam was pleased with his team for battling right back and making it and exciting game for the crowd.

“We got down by nine points and we were able to close that gap and get back in the game,” he said. “I complimented my kids when we went into the locker room about their ability to come back in the game.

“They showed the ability to overcome adverse circumstances (and) I think that’s an important part of not only basketball but maturing as a person and I thought my kids did that well tonight.”

The Cougars struggled with the Jaguar defense and Putnam gave Allen Park credit.

“They did a good job of taking away one of our offensive threats in April,” he said. “We had a little bit of trouble getting inside (and) some of the choices with shot selection were not good early in the game.

“We could have probably moved the ball a little bit more and got their defense to rotate and maybe jammed it inside a little bit, but Allen Park did a good job of taking some of our options away and they deserve credit for that.”

Perez said his team focused on where the big scorers were all night long and said confidence was a factor in a win this time around.

“It was a huge win for us,” he said. “I think it was a matter of us playing more together and being on this six-game win streak and coming in with confidence and knowing what was at stake coming up this week.”

The Jags had an all-around team effort in the win.

Bowdell finished the night with a team-high 18 points and was 10-for-13 from the charity striple.

Keely finished with nine points and seven rebounds, Gamble had 10 rebounds and four points, Hailey Lazarek had 11 points and four boards and Erin Fish added six points.

When the Jags put pressure on Micheaux, King stepped right up and finished the night with 16 points and six rebounds.

Frazier had 13 points and was 5-for-6 from the foul line.

Micheaux had six points and 13 rebounds and Mariah Hopkins had four points and five rebounds.

The Cougars dropped to 7-4 in the league while the Jags moved to 9-2 with a big week coming up.

A makeup game is tentative for Monday night with Anderson and Woodhaven will come to call the following night and Roosevelt two nights later.

The Cougars are back on the court tomorrow in a make up game with Lincoln Park and will take on Melvindale next Tuesday.

Last Updated: 1/31/2014 4:41:04 PM EST