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Lady Wolverines Fall In Heartbreaker

By Staff | Feb 19, 2009

HANG?ON?TO?THAT?REBOUND - West Bend-Mallard’s Jessica Fehr does her best to hang on to a rebound against a pack of Bishop Garrigan Golden Bears during Tuesday’s Class 1A Regional semi-final game. The Lady Wolverines would see their season end with a pair of missed freethrows with less than :01 to go.­-- Dan Voigt photo

ALGONA – It was classic tournament basketball.

A player is fouled with :009 left in the game, trailing by a point.

With that scenario on Tuesday night, two missed freethrows would spell the difference between advancement down the tournament trail and the end of the season for the West Bend-Mallard Lady Wolverines.

After battling the Golden Bears of Bishop Garrigan through four quarters, the Lady Wolverines put Melissa Abrahamson on the charity stripe with nine-tenths of a second to play in the game, but two missed free throws ended the Lady Wolverines’ season in a 65-64 heartbreaking loss.

“We had our chances, but it just didn’t work out for us,”?noted West Bend-Mallard Head Coach Eugene Ruppert. “I couldn’t be any prouder of the way these girls played.”

The Lady Wolverines opened the game with a quick bucket and a two-point lead that would hold for the first 3:00 of the game before Bishop Garrigan would score a point. West Bend-Mallard would manage to stay a bucket ahead of the Golden Bears through the first quarter, and led 14-12 to start the second quarter.

However, Bishop Garrigan would use some three-point shots to edge out to a lead of as many and eight points at one juncture in the second quarter, but West Bend-Mallard kept their composure and rallied to re-take the lead at 30-29 into the locker room at half-time.

The Lady Wolverines scrapped hard in the third quarter to hold a slim lead over Bishop Garrigan, but with time winding down in the quarter, Bishop Garrigan was able to slip past the Lady Wolverines and take a 50-47 lead to start the final frame.

Both squads would battle hard for every shot and every rebound in the final quarter, with every bucket being answered with a bucket on the opposite end of the court. West Bend-Mallard chipped away at the Golden Bears’ lead as time wound down, and soon the game was back to a one-point margin.

But with time spinning down to the last :30, the stage was set for the final flurry of action.

Bishop Garrigan led 65-64 with :30 to go as the Lady Wolverines got the ball and brought the ball downcourt, working patiently for the high-percentage shot. With :16 to go, Amanda Frieden drove inside for a short jumper off to the side. The ball rolled around the rim and fell off, prompting a wild scrum for the rebound. Chelsea Doughan was fouled and went to the line for a one-and-one, but missed the front end, giving the Lady Wolverines the ball with :16 to work with.

Once again, the Lady Wolverines worked for the good shot as the clock ticked down and with :009 left to play, Missy Abrahamson was hacked on a shot, sending her to the line for the two-shot foul. The first shot fell short and the second one bounced off the rim and into the hands of Bishop Garrigan, who held on for the one-point win.

Kayla Hartman would lead the West Bend-Mallard offensive effort with 21 points, while Missy Abrahamson added 18 points and Amanda Frieden added 15 tallies on the night. Mariss Thilges chipped in five points, while Jennica Ruppert added four tallies and Jessica Fehr chipped in a free throw.

Missy Abrahamson had 14 rebounds and Amanda Frieden added 13 boards, while Kayla Hartman dished out six assisted and made one steal. Marisa Thilges added five assists.