LOMETA – Mikhaila Barnett would not let her team lose.
The 5-foot-9 point guard scored a game-high 26 points against Evant on Tuesday, guiding Lometa to a 41-37 victory. In addition to carrying the Lady Hornets offensively, Barnett finished with 11 rebounds and three steals, but it was her clutch plays in the final moments of the critical District 28-1A, DII win that mattered most.
Barnett accounted for all but one of her team’s 16 points in the fourth quarter, connecting on a jumper with 28 seconds remaining to give Lometa (5-12, 2-1) a slim 38-37 lead. Moments later, the junior secured the victory with a putback after her teammate missed her second of two free throws, and the Lady Elks were unable to respond before time elapsed.
What are you thoughts on the game as a whole?
Well, Evant is really our rival, and so we’ve lost to them continuously year after year after year. We are a very young team. We had four freshman starters out there (against Evant), so, initially, our thoughts in the game were we have nothing to lose. We just wanted to leave it all on the court.
The key to winning is working as hard when you are not in school, when you’re not on the basketball court as you do when you are on the court and leave nothing. We just wanted to do our best and have fun.
You had a great game personally. How did you feel out there?
I don’t feel like it was all about me. I just wanted it.
Were you feeling really good out there? Were you just in the zone?
Not really, I just wanted it. When you want something so badly, it doesn’t matter about the success. If you do your best, everything will fall in place. If you absolutely try your best, whether it was a success or a failure, it will all come down to you, and you’ll know you did the best you could.
You produced some key plays in the final seconds. Can you talk about the last moments of the game?
They made me want to cry. It is just so emotional. Like I said, when you want something so badly, nothing else matters. On the inside, if you want it that badly, then you know you can work hard enough for yourself, as well as your team. The success will come with the hard work. It is about caring not just about yourself, but your whole team and working together as a team.