(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
DELTA -- With a trip to the Delta New Year's Tournament championship game on the line, the Oran Lady Eagles weren't about to go down quietly.
Taking on the St. Vincent Lady Indians in the tournament semifinals Wednesday night, the Lady Eagles were able to cut a 15-point deficit down to six midway through the fourth quarter after going on a 9-0 run in the span of just over 40 seconds.
Unfortunately for the Lady Eagles, missed opportunities on two of their next drives stalled their comeback, allowing the Lady Indians to pull away for a 61-48 win.
"We had a couple three's rim out that if we hit those it's a tie ball game," Oran head coach Adam Friga said. "We got some stops (on St. Vincent) and then we had some three's rim out. A shot here or there and it's a totally different game."
If not for a slow start to the game, the Lady Eagles late rally may have led to a better end result.
With the Lady Indians starting out the game on a 10-2 run before ending the first quarter up 14-8, however, Oran was forced to play from behind the whole game.
Playing even with St. Vincent in the second frame, the Lady Eagles were able to move to within four of the Lady Indians late in the third on a Cheyanne King basket with 2:08 left before St. Vincent scored five unanswered points to end the frame up by nine.
It was after the Lady Indians opened the fourth outscoring Oran 10-4 in the first four minutes that the Lady Eagles began their final push of the night.
Starting with a Taylor Nenninger basket with 3:54 to play, Oran was able to take advantage of a few defensive rebounds and St. Vincent turnovers to hold the Lady Indians offense quiet until Nenninger could hit a 3-pointer with 3:02 left to pull within six at 49-43.
Left with no room for error, however, the Lady Eagles missed their next 3-point attempt before turning the ball over on two of their next three possessions, allowing St. Vincent to start a 9-1 run to seal the game.
"Our kids never gave up all night," Friga said. "We just can't let them go on that run in the beginning. I'm not down on the girls because they gave a good effort. They didn't want to lose the ball game, we just can't start out slow."
With a game-high 22 points on the night, Cheyanne King led Oran while Haley Glastetter and Nenninger scored 10 and seven points for the Lady Eagles respectively.
For St. Vincent, Kali Wingerter had 21 points to lead the Lady Indians with Courtney Heberlie finishing second on the team with 11.
Oran will face the host Delta Lady Bobcats in the third-place game Saturday at 2:30 p.m. while St. Vincent will play the Meadow Heights Lady Panthers in the tournament finals directly following the third-place game at 4 p.m.
ORAN (48) -- Haley Glastetter 10, Cheyanne King 22, Halle Woodfin 2, Addie Kielhofner 2, Crissy Sauceda 5, Taylor Nenninger 7. FG 19, FT 8-12, F 10. (3-pointers: Nenninger 1, Sauceda 1. Fouled out: none)
ST. VINCENT (61) -- Courtney Heberlie 11, Dani Hogard 4, Kayla Seabaugh 9, Storm French 10, Kelci Besand 6, Kali Wingerter 21. FG 28, FT 4-9, F 9. (3-pointers: Heberlie 1. Fouled out: none)
DELTA -- Showing why they were ranked No. 1 coming into the tournament, the Meadow Heights Lady Panthers stormed past the Delta Lady Bobcats to a 66-26 win to lock up their spot in the Delta New Year's Tournament finals.
After building a four-point lead entering the second quarter at 10-4, the Lady Panthers were able to open up their offense in the second frame, putting up a game-high 26 points thanks in part to a pair of 3-pointers by Heather Dietiker.
Able to limit Delta to only seven points off a 3-pointer and four free throws in the same time frame, St. Vincent was able to build a healthy 25-point advantage going into the half at 36-11.
Making sure their spot in the finals were secure, the Lady Panthers went on to outscore the Lady Bobcats a combined 30-15 in the final two quarters to seal the win.
With five scorers in double digits on the night, St. Vincent was led by Gina Cureton whose 14 points tied her with Delta's Machela VanGennip for the game-high.
MEADOW HEIGHTS (66) -- Hattie Cook 13, Gina Cureton 14, Erin Bollmann 12, Heather Dietiker 10, Whitney Welker 11, Taylor Cureton 2, Jillian Mills 3. FG 26, FT 10-16, F 12. (3-pointers: Cook 1, G. Cureton 1, Dietiker 2. Fouled out: none)
DELTA (26) -- Samantha Bartels 10, Tori Burton 2, Machela Van Gennip 14. FG 9, FT 7-13, F 14. (3-pointers: Bartels 1. Fouled out: none)