BRISTOL, Tenn. – Led by Brooke Johnson's 19 points, King Women's Basketball overcame deficits in the second half and overtime to take away an 85-82 win in their conference home opener, Saturday night. The Lady Tornado defeated the Queens (N.C.) Royals to improve to 3-2 overall and earn their first conference victory of the season. Kelly Jackson and Bonnie Durrett each scored in double figures and contributed greatly in King's fight for the win.
Queens (N.C.) began to build a lead after trailing 43-41 at the half that hit seven points under the 10-minute mark. Down 69-62, King went on a 9-1 run to regain the lead by three points. Following Alley Sprouse's layup to begin the rally, sophomore Chelsea Bowling (Elizabethton, Tenn./ETSU) scored the next four points with a short-range jumper and pair of free throws to create a one-basket game, 70-68. After tying the game at 70, Brooke Johnson (Roan Mountain, Tenn.) hit one of her four three pointers to give King a three point lead but Nikia Squire rallied the Royals back with a bucket with 1:02 remaining before both teams went scoreless for the duration of regulation.
The Royals again jumped out of the gate with a 6-1 start to the overtime session, fueled by four points from close range by Shonice Pettaway and a field goal from Shanel Sweet, 80-75. Queens went cold from the floor, missing their final four field goal attempts. While their stroke chilled, King began to heat up at the right time. Kelly Jackson (Lynchburg, Va./Elon) came off the Sweet make and hit a shot in the paint to trim the lead to three. Jackson benefitted from Lacey Singletary's miss on the ensuing Queens possession and knocked down a second straight jumper to make for a one point game, 80-79.
Sophomore Bonnie Durrett (West Paducah, Ky./Jefferson College) led a defensive stand on the next possession, getting a piece of Micha Cox's three point attempt for a block and then turned it into an easy lay in on the other end following a feed from Brooke Johnson. Durrett gave King their first lead of the overtime session, 81-80. Shonice Pettaway took back the lead for the Royals with a pair of free throw makes following a foul, but Chelsea Bowling drew a foul under the Royals basket off an Alley Sprouse miss and was sent to the line to retake the lead. Despite a Tia Hudgins missed jump shot with 43 seconds remaining, Nikia Squire stole the ball away for one last chance, but the Royals' woes from the field continued as Pettaway missed with 32 seconds to go with Bowling reeling end the rebound. Kelly Jackson sealed the game when she slipped behind the Royals' press defense and Brooke Johnson found her for an easy layup for the bucket that finalized the overtime win, 85-82.
King trailed for much of the first half after a quick 10-4 start behind threes from Brooke Johnson and Chelsea Bowling. Queens scored the next 13 points with help from three King turnovers that resulted in six points. The Royals held on to an eight point lead heading into the final 5:30 of the first half before King began chipping away at their lead behind the three ball. Freshman Stephanie Brantley hit her first two attempts after checking in just before Queens went up eight points with her second make cutting the lead down to four points, 37-31. The Royals bumped the lead back up to seven but in the final 2:03, the Lady Tornado went on a 9-0 rally to close out the half and take a 43-41 lead into the half. Four of their final nine points came off of turnovers and the go-ahead bucket stemmed from a block by sophomore Alley Sprouse (Newport, Tenn.), resulting in Jackson cashing in on the fastbreak with a layup.
Bonnie Durrett recorded her second double-double of her King career adding 15 rebounds to her 17 points. Both of those marks are season highs for the sophomore. Ten of her 17 points came in the first half. She added three blocks and two steals on the defensive end.
Senior Brooke Johnson also set a new season high while leading the Lady Tornado with 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field. Four of her six field goals were from three-point range. She also led the team with eight assists. Following her performance Saturday night, Johnson is now 169 points away from 1,000 career points.
Junior Kelly Jackson shot 50 percent on the night, going 6-of-12 from the field for a total of 12 points. She added five assists and five rebounds to her line, as well. Chelsea Bowling was the fourth and final King player to score in double digits, finishing with 16 on 4-of-7 shooting and 6-of-7 from the free throw line.
King outrebounded Queens, 47-38. The Royals, however, caused 29 King turnovers which resulted in 28 points for Queens (3-2, 2-1 Conference Carolinas).
Shonice Pettaway led all scorers with 28 points on 10-of-28 shooting. She and teammate Tia Hudgins tallied eight rebounds. Hudgins joined Pettaway in double digit scoring with 10 points. Nikia Squire led the Royals with five steals.
King (3-2, 1-2 CC) earned its first Conference Carolinas win of the season with their overtime victory over Queens. The Lady Tornado will break from conference action and host Salem International on Dec. 4 with a 7 p.m. tipoff. Their next two games will be against the Fighting Tigers as King will head to Salem, W.Va. before returning to conference play on Jan. 3 at Barton (Wilson, N.C.).