Things were breaking down for the St. Mary’s Springs girls basketball team on its final possession in regulation of Thursday’s game. It seemed like it would be a microcosm of the entire fourth quarter.
But an unscripted play by Lizzy Nelson saved the play and the Ledgers, who eventually survived overtime to beat North Fond du Lac 46-45 at Hutter Gymnasium.
Springs took a 36-22 lead with 5:25 left in the fourth quarter. Then Brooke Scott took over. She hit three 3-pointers and North Fondy (14-8, 9-5) went on a 17-1 run to take a two-point lead with 30 seconds left. The sophomore guard finished with 20 points.
“She made some shots. Brooke is like that. She’s not afraid to take a big shot,” said North Fondy coach Gary Kuehl. “And she made some 3s to get us back in it.”
Springs (18-4, 12-2) called a timeout and set up a final play.
“We work on them all the time in practice and sometimes they work sometimes they don’t,” said Springs coach Mitch Redig. “This is the first time we’ve been tested with one at the end of regulation and we were able to execute the best we could.”
It wasn’t quite what was supposed to happen, though. Springs was unable to get the ball in the post, instead passing the ball around the perimeter for the better part of 20 seconds. Nelson finally made her move down the lane, and banked her running scoop shot off the glass and in to tie the game.
“It was a good shot, and I’m just happy she took it,” Redig said.
In overtime, Scott made her final field goal of the game to tie the contest at 43. Eleanore Mueller gave Springs the lead again with a free throw and her own bank shot to give the Ledgers just enough cushion. Mueller finished overtime with three points and six rebounds.
She had 12 boards for the game to go with nine points, while Kelli Schrauth had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
“They’re our rocks in the middle,” Redig said. “We ask for them to rebound and defend first and hopefully our offense will come from that. They stepped up really big in crunch time.”
North Fondy’s star post player, Nicole Seidl, had her own double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Scott led all scorers and gave North Fondy a chance to win the game, but she couldn’t quite seal the deal. The sophomore had a 3-point attempt from the top of the key, bounce hard off the left side of the rim and out of bounds.
Despite the difficult finish, Kuehl was proud of the fourth-quarter comeback.
“To our credit our girls did not get down I thought they fought back,” he said. “We had many opportunities to get a ‘W’ in regulation. They made a tough shot and we just fell a little short. I thought they gutted it out when it looked bad for them.”
Springs 46, North Fondy 45
|North Fondy||5||10||7||17 6||— 45|
|Springs||10||6||14||9 7||— 46|
North Fondy — Scott 20, Morris 2, Logterman 5, Seidl 12, Schneider 3, Giebel 3. 3-pointers: Scott 3, Logterman. FTs: 9-12. Fouls: 17.
Springs — Ottery 4, Bohn 9, Schneider 6, Nelson 5, Meyer 2, Schrauth 11, Mueller 9. 3-pointers: Schneider. FTs: 9-21. Fouls: 13.