Trojans sidestep CMB in OT
STATE CENTER – West Marshall had seen this scenario before.
A second-half lead whittled to nothing, a momentum swing shifting against them, and another opportunity for the opposition to steal a win.
West Marshall wasn’t going to let it happen this time.
Coming through at the line, making a couple defensive stands and catching a couple lucky bounces, the senior-less Trojan squad made just enough plays in overtime to outlast Collins-Maxwell/Baxter 47-45 in a Class 2A Region 6 quarterfinal Tuesday.
Gabby Reyerson hit the go-ahead shot in the final minute and knocked down a pair of free throws to make it a 3-point game, before Abbie Haupert made just 1-of-3 at the line with two-tenths on the clock as the Trojans held on.
“We could have panicked – and we did for a little while – but we got it back, made some big free throws down the stretch and took care of the ball with some pressure on us,” said West Marshall coach Fred Zeller, whose squad was just 1-6 in games decided by six points or less this season.
“They got some momentum but we came up with some big plays and big rebounds when we had toOur kids have had some close games all year and this time we came out on top.”
The Trojans (9-13) advance to play sixth-ranked Fort Dodge St. Edmond (20-2) in a semifinal game in Fort Dodge Friday at 7 p.m. The Gaels defeated South Hamilton (2-21) 79-23 in Fort Dodge.
Reyerson, who hadn’t made a field goal since the opening minute of the third, put the Trojans on top for good at 44-43 with 56 seconds to go, before Madisen Streeter increased the lead by hitting 1-of-2 at the line.
Several shots rimmed out for the Raiders (7-17) but Haupert hauled in another offensive board and split a pair of free throws with eight ticks left, before Reyerson made a pair at the stripe a second later. Haupert got one last look for the tie and was fouled upon her release beyond the arc before missing her first two free throws to essentially ice the game as the Raiders didn’t have enough time to get another shot off.
“We wanted to foul before (Haupert) shot the ball, but we missed her or they didn’t call the foul,” Zeller said.
“We kind of escaped but our kids worked hard. We hung in there and made some big plays when we had to.”
Streeter made 4-of-6 free throws in the extra session and finished with a team-high 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Reyerson scored 13 with eight boards.
Haupert brought back CMB from a 10-point second-half deficit and finished with 22 points as the 6-foot senior nailed a triple with 11 seconds left in regulation to knot the game at 39 before the Trojans’ final two shots were off the mark.
Lexi Breon twice put the Raiders in front during overtime with her jumper giving the visitors a 43-42 edge with 1:12 left before Reyerson and Streeter delivered down the stretch.
“We just pressed a little bit in overtime, we hadn’t been in that situation all year,” said CMB coach Jamie Zabel, whose squad saw a six-point lead turn to a 10-point hole in an eight-minute span during the first half.
“We just missed some shots and were one-and-done. Shots that were going down in the first quarter started bouncing out. We got a little tired there and they turned the defensive pressure up just a little bit inside and it was hard for us to get the ball in.”
Trailing 13-7 after Bridget Hurley’s third 3-pointer of the first quarter, West Marshall scored eight unanswered and took its first lead when Reyerson scored off an inbounds play inside. Reyerson, Streeter, Mackenzie Coberley and Addie Wilkinson all scored during a 20-4 flurry as the Trojans grabbed a 10-point lead and held a 27-18 advantage at the break.
“We look for balance because one person can’t do everything.” Streeter said.
“It’s nice to spread the floor and get everyone shooting and scoring because we have a young team. When everyone shoots and scores and we work together as a team, we usually pull it out.”
Coberley hit the Trojans’ lone 3 and scored nine, while Wilkinson added six with the pair scoring all 15 of their points in the first half.
Hurley finished with 13 points for the Raiders but scored just two after the first quarter, while Breon added eight.
The Gaels’ lone losses came against Class 3A No. 3 Clear Lake and Class 2A No. 13 Pocahontas Area. Anna Yung leads the team in scoring at 19 points per game, while Allis Huss averages 18.5.West Marshall lost its only other overtime game this season, 64-60, against South Hardin.