Shots weren't falling for either side through the end of regulation.
As the battle between Carmel and Warren went to overtime in the final game of Monday's Blue Devil Classic, one player seemed to benefit.
Cassidy Kloss of Carmel had no field goals heading into the overtime session. But then the senior finally cracked the code with a key 3-pointer. She had 7 of her 10 points in overtime as Carmel dodged a late comeback by Warren and took home a 51-47 victory.
"It was tough to play,'' Kloss said. "Our outside shots weren't falling. It was time for a shot or two to go in overtime."
Kloss was quick to credit home-standing Warren.
"They did a great job with their zone,'' she said. "And they worked hard to beat our press."
Halfway through the first quarter, the Corsairs (10-2) were tossing a shutout. But it wasn't exactly like Carmel took advantage of this situation.
Carmel led just 4-0. In fact, Warren's Kylie Nedelka landed the game's first 3-pointer and it put her team ahead briefly at 5-4.
"In girls basketball, anybody can beat anybody,'' said Carmel coach Kelly Perz. "That was stressful. We had been killing zone defenses but they played a great zone defense."
This defensive struggle was knotted at 6-6 after the first quarter. And then it seemed like Carmel would finally pull away. On a steal and bucket from Nicole Bitter (5 points), the Carmel lead was 18-10 late in the first half.
But then it was Warren's turn to shine. The 3-pointers began to fly. Sammi Jo Nixon (11 points), Nedelka and Hailey Leinart all nailed one in the third quarter. Warren (3-9) erased the Corsairs' advantage and opened up a 29-23 lead.
"I'm so proud of our effort,'' said Warren coach John Stanczykiewicz. "We challenged them at the beginning of the game. So I'm happy with the effort. We were playing a team of seniors. Now we have to find the hot hand."
It was anyone's game in the fourth quarter. A driving layup from Kristen O'Brien (14 points) gave the host Blue Devils a 39-36 lead with two minutes to play. Emma Rappe's layup with 10 seconds to play knotted the game at 40-40 and the Carmel senior sent this game to an extra four minutes.
That's when Kloss' game clicked in.
"Our goal is to win this tournament,'' Perz said. "We had an ooops game against Wheeling (on Saturday) but we can still win this."