ANNA — The only time the Denison Lady Yellow Jackets didn’t hold a lead was at the final buzzer, when a shot by Mikaela Gilliland only prolonged victory by four minutes.

ANNA — The only time the Denison Lady Yellow Jackets didn’t hold a lead was at the final buzzer, when a shot by Mikaela Gilliland only prolonged victory by four minutes.

But Denison was able to turn back the momentum Anna built in the fourth quarter with an early surge in the extra period as the Lady Jackets defeated the Lady Coyotes, 46-43, in overtime in a non-district contest on Monday afternoon.

Jamiah Ballard and Bailey Nixon each scored 14 points for the Lady Jackets (3-9), who jump back into District 13-4A action for the rest of the season when they host Wylie at 6:15 p.m. on Friday.

“If there’s ever a must-win in the infancy of our program, this is it,” Denison head coach Rod Been said. “If we want some meaningful games down the stretch, Wylie at home on Friday night is a must win.”

With a chance for victory after leading almost wire-to-wire against Anna, the Lady Jackets relied heavily on Ballard to avoid the late loss. Quiet through three quarters, Ballard scoring 11 of her points in the fourth quarter, including back-to-back baskets at the beginning of the period for a 29-23 lead and then hitting two free throws with 10.5 seconds remaining to break a tie at 38.

“We had to go to her at the end of the game,” Been said. “I wasn’t pleased with her performance but she made some plays at the end when we had to have them.”

Anna was able to force overtime when Gilliland’s putback of a Breanna Dilldine three from the top of the key was wide of its mark. Both Gilliland and Dilldine finished with eight points apiece.

The Lady Coyotes’ ability to crash the glass was a big reason for the comeback and Anna took advantage of Denison’s top rebounder, Dara Williams, fouling out in the middle of the third quarter. She finished with seven boards.

“We just did not rebound on the defensive end of the floor,” Been said. “Not having Dara Williams out there really hurt us. I know she would have cleaned up a lot of those.”

Williams was one of five players to foul out, including Anna’s leading scorer Dee Moreno, who finished with 12 points, and Ballard, who did so in the middle of overtime after her jumper gave Denison a 44-40 lead following a score by Nixon.

Jaydan Hunt made a free throw with 38 seconds left before Tessa Hutto converted a three-point play on the ensuing possession. Tamara Gisendaner made a free throw and the Lady Coyotes were unable to get off a tying three-pointer before time expired.

Nixon got off to a hot start and paced the Lady Jackets to an 18-15 half-time lead. She scored Denison’s first eight points — including a pair of corner three-pointers — as the Lady Jackets led 10-3 after the first quarter.

“For us to be competitive, she’s going to have to hit some threes for us,” Been said.Nixon connected again from long range for a 17-11 advantage late in the second quarter but Dilldine answered with a three-pointer that cut the deficit to three at the break.

Anna went scoreless for the first three minutes of the second half but Denison was only able to get a basket by Sara McBride during that span. And when Denison didn’t make a shot in the final three-plus minutes of the quarter, Moreno and Favor Abara scored to get the deficit back to two going to the fourth quarter.