DENVER — Longmont senior Tanna Carson was playing junior varsity this time last year — as was the Trojans' entire varsity roster outside of Annika Wetterstrom.
One thing is for sure: They aren't laying down for anyone.
The plucky Trojans overcame a nine-point deficit against Overland on Friday night and took a lead into the waning seconds. But Keara Felix tied the game on a strong drive for the Trailblazers and Samira Mahmoud's free throw with 2.2 seconds remaining was the difference in Overland's 41-40 win at the Jeffco Jungle Jam at D'Evelyn High School.
"The theme of the week was progress over perfection," Longmont coach Wade Kingsbury said. "We weren't perfect tonight. We are never going to be perfect, but we got to be better."
Wetterstrom gave the Trojans (1-4) their first lead since the opening minutes on a jumper with 5:36 remaining but was forced to watch the final 2:51 from the bench after fouling out.
"Very frustrating," she said afterward. "I always want to be on the court."
With her off, the Blazers finally found some semblance of offense after going six minutes without a field goal and missing seven consecutive free throws.
They tied the game at 38 before Longmont went back ahead with 32 seconds remaining as Jenna Johnson took an inbounds pass from Carson and kissed a bucket off the glass.
In the closing seconds, however, Felix fought off defenders while driving in for the tying bucket with 16 seconds left and Mahmoud forced her way to the line following a Longmont turnover. And on a night where free throws were shaky from both teams — Overland went 11-for-26 and Longmont was 16-of-30 — the Blazers junior swished her first before missing the second.
A long rebound dwindled any hope of a last-second heave for the Trojans.
"It's tough to take away a one-point loss like that," Kingsbury said, "but we take away positives."
For one, resiliency.
Overland used an 18-6 spurt to take charge in the opening half. Naomi Stapleton turned a pair of steals into breakaway buckets during a 7-0 run late in the second and Felix continually got to the line as the Trailblazers went up 22-13 with 1:48 left in the half.
On the strength of defense, the Trojans came back to tie the game at 26-apiece with 2:56 left in the third. Then after the Blazers pushed the lead back to five, Carson's pair of technical free throws made it 31-all heading into the fourth.
"We're not a team that's going to back down," Carson said. "We're going to fight."
The Trojans continue on in the tournament and will face Heritage Saturday afternoon back at D'Evelyn.
Brent W. New: firstname.lastname@example.org and @brentwnew
Overland 41, Longmont 40
At D'Evelyn HS
Charles 1 0-0 2, Stapleton 6 0-2 12, Gamez 0 0-0 0, Mahmoud 1 2-4 4, McNeil 0 0-0 0, Hill 0 0-0 0, Jackson 2 2-2 6, Majeed 0 0-0 0, Prescott 0 0-0 0, Felix 5 7-18 17, Fanta 0 0-0 0.
Sanchez 1 0-0 2, Moist 0 0-0 0, Gray 2 4-6 8, Wetterstrom 3 1-2 7, Hitchcock 2 2-2 6, Wormke 1 0-2 2, Dillow 1 0-0 2, Carson 0 7-10 7, Johnson 2 0-2 4, Lee 0 2-4 2, Ashton 0 0-2 0, Ingvaldsen 0 0-0 0.
Score by quarters:Overland (1-2) 9 13 9 10 — 41
3-point field goals — No 3-point field goals made. Total fouls — Overland 23; Longmont 19. Fouled out — Wetterstrom. Technical fouls — Doherty.