HOT SPRINGS — North Little Rock, which did not lead until 1:54 remained in overtime Saturday night, closed the extra period on a 15-1 run to defeat Conway, 75-65, for the state 7A girls championship at Bank of the Ozarks Arena.
The Lady Cats, who were playing their third straight state title game, finished the season 30-2, losing for the first time to an Arkansas team. North Little Rock (25-5) lost twice to the Lady Cats early in the season.
The Lady Wildcats used their superior height to wear Conway down during the stretch. They outrebounded Conway, 62-49, and had a 38-22 advantage in points in the paint and 28-6 on second-chance points.
The Lady Cats had one of their worst shooting nights of the season, 21 of 73. North Little Rock was 22 of 70 but had a 15-point advantage at the free-throw line, 30 of 37 to 15 of 23.
Conway was 8 of 40 from 3-point range while the Lady Wildcats were 1 of 20.
Alexis Tolefree, the Lady Cats' leading scorer, finished her high school career 6 of 32 from the field and 2 of 23 from 3-point range. She scored 17 points. She had 48 the last time the two teams played.
"We did a good job pushing her out and making her take 25-footers," said North Little Rock coach Daryl Fimple.
Savannah Lowe led Conway with 22 points.
North Little Rock had four players score in double figures led by 20 points from tourney MVP Kyra Collier (10 of 13 free throws) and 18 and 14 rebounds by 6-4 sophomore Yo'myris Morris.
"This game shouldn't take away from our season," said CHS coach Ashley Nance. "We lost six players to graduation and five are playing college ball. No one thought we would be here. We really matured as a team and showed a lot of character."
More details in Tuesday's Log Cabin.