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The Phillips girls basketball team moved into the semifinals of the Chicago Public School City Championships with a dramatic 57-53 overtime win over Simeon on Saturday.
Zemoria Jernigan sliced her way through the Simeon defense with 1:08 left in the extra session to break a 51-all tie. Jernigan would later seal the game with four free throws and a steal in the final minute.
She scored all 11 of her points in the second half, including seven in the final 5:18.
“I knew I had to help me team out in the second half,” the guard said. “On the steal, I knew No. 15 (Ciera Selvie) had been running back door cuts all game so I just stepped in front of the pass.”
In addition to Jernigan’s heroics, it was Ashley Seaton who carried the Wildcats throughout the game. Seaton scored a game-high 29 points and knocked down five shots from behind the arc.
“She’s the heart and soul of the team,” Phillips coach Larry Stokes said. “I told everybody at halftime if they played as hard as Ashley then we would prevail.”
Janay Epps (18 points, eight rebounds) sent the game into overtime with an offensive putback with 16 seconds left.
Phillips had one final chance but turned the ball over on its last possession in regulation.
The game also featured two unusual plays. Forty seconds into the game, the official scorekeeper noticed a pair of Simeon players had the wrong jersey numbers recorded in the book. The finding ended in a technical foul and two free-throws. Seaton hit both free throws.
Trailing by one at the half, Jalisha Smith opened the third period with what appeared to be a three-pointer from the corner. One official then signaled time, waved off the basket declaring the inbound play be reset.
“I am still trying to figure that one out,” Simeon coach Melvin Nunn said of the reset to the third period. “None of the refs gave any explanation as to why the play was stopped and reset.”
The Wolverines would go on and score two points on the possession, instead of the potential three.