Claire Rose decided Grain Valley’s season wouldn’t end like it did a year ago.
Rose, the Eagles’ junior point guard, scored 33 points and hit two game-tying three-pointers in the final minute of regulation Tuesday, helping Grain Valley defeat Bolivar 65-56 in overtime in a Class 4 sectional at Blue Springs. The win avenged the Eagles’ loss to the Liberators last year in the same round.
“I’ve been practicing all year for this game,” Rose said. “There’s no team I wanted to beat more.”
Grain Valley trailed 46-40 with a little more than two minutes to play before Rose went to work. She had two driving layups to bring the Eagles within 47-44, then hit her first three in the final minute to tie the game.
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When Bolivar responded with a three by Macy Hall, Rose answered back with her second three, evening the game at 50 and forcing overtime.
“I’ve gone through losing two years in a row in the playoffs and I’m get sick and tired of feeling like I let someone down,” Rose said. “It was time to win.”
Grain Valley, 23-5, dominated the overtime, scoring the first nine points. Rose tallied eight points in the extra session.
“That panic button was sitting right next to us, but we wouldn’t hit it. I thought our kids kept their composure when it was tough,” Grain Valley coach Randy Draper said. “That game in fourth quarter and overtime, we were pretty tough. … Rose obviously makes us go. She’s the engine. It’s really hard not to play hard when you’re on her team.”
Kendyll Bailey poured in 23 points for the Eagles, who advance to Saturday’s quarterfinal against St. Joseph-Benton.
“It’s crazy,” Rose said of advancing. “All I can do is smile about that.”