SHELBYVILLE — Freshman point guard Kenzie Koch admitted she messed up, but she was determined to fix it.

The standout point guard and leading scorer of Eastern Hancock’s third-ranked girls basketball team was feeling pretty down late in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s semifinal game of the Class 2A Shelbyville Semi-State at William L. Garrett Memorial Gymnasium.

The Royals led Sheridan for most of the game, but when Koch had the ball stolen from her by Blackhawks’ junior standout Kenzie Garner with 23 seconds left in regulation, Garner scored on an easy layup to give Sheridan a 53-52 lead. It was the Blackhawks first lead since early in the second quarter.

“I looked at [senior teammate] Brooklyn [Willis] and I told her I’m getting the ball,” Koch said. “Once she stole that ball and got that layup my heart sank and I knew I had to make up for it. It was my fault that she got that. It was my fault not keeping the ball. I knew I had to make up for that. I made sure everyone knew that I’m getting the ball and I needed to do this. I needed them to just get out of the way and let me get it there.”

With 9.8 seconds remaining in regulation, Eastern Hancock trailed 54-52.

Koch received the inbound pass under the Sheridan bucket and went coast-to-coast to score and tie the game, 54-54, forcing overtime.

The Royals outscored the Blackhawks 8-0 in the extra session to win 62-54 and earn a spot in the semi-state championship game Saturday night against Brownstown Central.

“There’s nine seconds left, she’s a very, very confident player,” Eastern Hancock coach Shari Doud said of Koch. “We knew we wanted to get the ball in her hands because she’ll head north and not even think about passing it and get to the bucket, which is what we needed her to do. She does that well.”

Koch had four of the team’s eight overtime points, all coming at the free-throw line. The Royals hit 6 of 8 at the stripe in the four-minute period.

The only field goal of the OT was a big one.

Koch had hit a pair of free throws to give Eastern Hancock a 56-54 lead. On a Sheridan offensive possession closing in on the two-minute mark of overtime, the ball was knocked away. Eastern Hancock senior Sammie Bolding beat everyone to the ball and went in for a layup to give the Royals a four-point lead, 58-54 with 2:10 to go.

“When the ball was loose and it was a 50-50 ball, I knew Sammie Bolding would come out with it,” Doud said. “That’s what Sammie does. She’s just a bulldog. That layup was so incredibly crucial.”

Sheridan was 0-for-8 from the field in overtime.

Garner led all scorers with a season-high 32 points. She took the majority of her team’s shots, going 11 of 36 from the field.

Koch led the Royals with 17 points and 12 rebounds.

The Royals battled first-half foul trouble. Koch, Bolding and 6-1 senior center Ruby White, the team’s top three scorers, spent a lot of the second quarter on the bench with two fouls.

Senior Makenzie O’Neal, who came into the game averaging 4.9 points per game, made up for it.

O’Neal had 11 first-half points, including nine in the second quarter. She finished the game with 14 points and eight rebounds.

“Mak showed up with her motor running on high,” Doud said of O’Neal. “If it wasn’t for her, we would have dug ourselves a hole. [Sheridan was] going to let her go, because she’s not a “scorer” for us. They kind of let her go and she stuck it in their grill.”

Bolding finished with 14 points. She hit 4 of 9 3-point attempts. White scored nine points before fouling out at the end of regulation time.

Sheridan finished its season 20-6.

Eastern Hancock 62, Sheridan 54, overtime

Eastern Hancock;10;14;15;15;8;—;62


Eastern Hancock (25-1): Brooklyn Willis 1 3-4 5, Makenzie O’Neal 6 2-3 14, Ruby White 4 1-2 9, Sammie Bolding 5 0-0 14, Kenzie Koch 6 5-6 17, Ellie Meyer 0 1-2 1, Sydney Springman 0 0-0 0, Camryn Andrus 1 0-0 2, Bella Sotelo 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23 12-17 62.

Sheridan (20-6): Nova Cross 0 2-2 2, Sadie Timme 2 0-0 4, Cecilia Timme 2 3-4 7, Kenzie Garner 11 8-8 32, Brielle Garner 3 2-4 9, Mac Smith 0 0-0 0, Shelby Eaton 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 15-18 54.

3-point goals: Eastern Hancock 4 (Bolding 4). Sheridan 3 (K. Garner 2, B. Garner).