MONON — Both looks were good. Both shots were clean.
Neither went in.
But North White head coach Bryan Heimlich wasn’t necessarily disappointed after the Vikings fell, 53-51, in overtime to North Miami during their home and season opener Saturday.
The Vikings missed a game-tying attempt from the right baseline with roughly five seconds left in the extra period, an airball that was collected by North Miami’s Bailey Keim. They also missed a game-winner to end regulation, a shot that hit the back end of the rim from the right wing.
“Had a chance at the end of the game,” Heimlich said. “Had a great look at the end of (regulation), with the (Abigale) Spry shot just going off (the rim). And then in overtime we had opportunities. We had some possessions where we just — we need to finish around the rim. We had some great looks around the rim, and weren’t able to finish.”
The sphere found its way to Spry via a three-girl tussle for a loose ball headed toward the North White basket. It was procured by a Vikings player, and kicked out to Spry. She aimed and fired, with the ball propelling toward the halfcourt line off the back end.
In overtime, Tessa Robertson was all alone on the baseline, and threw up a shot that missed the rim short by an inch.
Heimlich noted both freshmen never hesitated nor thought of anything but to take the open shot.
“For the first game, I thougth we did some things really well,” he said. “Obviously, there are some things we can work on, too.
“It’s one game of the season. As long as we learn from it, it’ll be fine.”
What they learned in the immediate aftermath is finshing around the rim is tantamount. There were a handful of shots in the paint, including multiple layups, that rimmed in and out. There were the 15 turnovers, including three in overtime. And sure, there were a handful of missed foul shots — though none in the second half and overtime.
North White only took two over the final 20 minutes of gameplay, but both were sunk.
Those were made by Spry, who finished with nine points. Spry’s foul shots put the score at 51-51 with 50.9 ticks left, and the Warriors held the ball for the next 40 or so seconds as the clock dipped down.
On the possesion, senior post Maryann Freeman found herself at the elbow with the ball and three defenders closing in. Before the closeout was completed, Freeman pitched it to Keim, coming in as a tailback would to take a handoff.
Keim drove toward the hoop, then lofted up a jumper that went in.
“When you play in games like this, you get more out of it because you’re constantly thinking,” North Miami coach Lori Working said.
“Those three seniors I have, they’ve been playing ball together for a long time. (Keim) is the glue. Maryann didn’t have the game she had last year (against North White), but that’s kudos to (Heimlich).”
Keim scored all three visitors’ points in the extra session.
“They have three girls returning that played really well for them last year,” Heimlich said. “We knew the Keim girl could shoot the basketball, and we didn’t have great coverage, communication (during the game).”
North White found itself down 49-45 after Freeman sank 1-of-2 from the line with 3 minutes, 44 seconds left in the contest. The Vikings answered with a Lynzi Heimlich layup 19 seconds later, and then the Warriors held the ball in a semi-stall tactic, barely bringing the ball into the 2-point area. Olivia Allen garnered a theft to earn the home team a possession, and Heimlich put in another layup for a 49-49 tie with 1:21 on the clock.
North Miami stalled out again, only using a pair of timeouts when North White pressed the issue.
Freman missed a shot with about 12 seconds left, leading to Spry’s attempted game-winner.
“That’s a tough one, but you know what … I think we learn more from a game like this,” Working said. “The coach here, he has a tough program. He’s doing a nice job.”
North White’s final regulation comeback was one of multiple smaller surges as the Vikings found themselves down 39-26 three minutes into the third quarter.
“We didn’t quit. We got down 12 or 13 there, and I thought we could have easily given up,” Heimlich said. “The girls kept fighting.
“We have a number of girls who can do some positive things for us this year.”