For the Adams-Friendship girls basketball team, a close game is a rare occurrence.
But Tuesday night against Wisconsin Dells, it wouldn’t have appeared so.
Despite losing a double-digit lead, the Green Devils were able to hold off Wisconsin Dells 32-28 to claim their third straight South Central Conference championship. It is the fourth conference title in program history.
“We missed a lot of shots, and I think the nerves got to us,” A-F coach Loren Ebert said. “We have been in a lot of blow outs, and not many close games, so we needed a game like tonight heading into the playoffs.”
A-F had a 10-point lead halfway through the third quarter, but cold shooting breathed new life into Wisconsin Dells.
Dells trailed 22-19 after the third quarter, and eventually tied the game 24-24 with five minutes left in regulation, but that is when A-F junior standout Emma Roenneburg stepped up.
Roenneburg scored 7 of her team-high 16 points in the final eight minutes, but the Division I recruit didn’t just step up on the offensive end. Roenneburg also grabbed a critical rebound and sank a free throw to stretch the lead to four-points and ice the game with less than 10 seconds remaining.
“A game like this makes us mentally tougher,” Roenneburg said. “The Dells plays such solid defense, so it was definitely good for the team to face adversity. “
Despite some missed layups, the Green Devils were solid from outside, hitting their first three shots from long range. Sophomore Maddie Follen sank a pair of shots in the second quarter, while Roenneburg and Farrell also added one.
“It really is a huge honor to be part of a conference championship, let alone our third (straight),” said A-F senior Ashley Sternhagen.
“The girls stepped really stepped up at the right times,” Ebert said. “Even the ones who didn’t play were key tonight with how hard they practice every night. You don’t need to be in the box score to help win a game, and I can’t stress that enough with all the girls on the team. They all play an important part.”
Adams-Friendship 32, Wis. Dells 28
Leading Scorers: WD, Hunter Hickey 11, Dana Percival 6, Jaden Ward 5, Carly Pfeifer 4, Aga Sron 2, A-F, Emma Roenneburg 16, Hannah Landon 7, Maddie Follen 6, Taylor Farrell 3. FT: WD, 8-15, A-F 7-10. 3-Pointers: A-F 4 (Follen 2, Roenneburg, Farrell.) Records: Adams-Friendship 18- 1 overall, 9-0 SCC, Wisconsin Dells 13-6 overall, 7-3 SCC.