|Ladies second in tournament|
By Pastor Vince Carrig
Chase County forward Alexis Tropf scored the most field goals in the game, but none seemed bigger than the foul line jump shot she plunged through to seal a 44-38 victory for her Lady Longhorns over the Lady Plainsmen in the championship round of the Perkins County Holiday Tournament in Grant last Wednesday (Dec. 29).
Tropf scored six of her 16 points in the fateful fourth quarter, which began with Chase County leading 29-27. The senior forward asserted herself under the glass, putting back her own miss for two points and then converting a foul call into points after taking a defensive rebound for herself.
Tropf’s fourth quarter foul shots gave the Lady Longhorns a comfortable 39-32 lead with a couple of minutes left, but Perkins County sophomore guard Michi Prante strung together a personal run to tighten the margin.
Prante struck from inside the shadow of the arc, then cut in front of a Chase County pass and floated a soft eight-foot jumper down to pull the Lady Plainsmen to within four points of the lead at 40-36.
Prante and Shania Metcalf both led Perkins County in game scoring with nine points. Shania Metcalf took some abuse and put away two free throws to cut the Lady Longhorns’ lead to 40-38.
But Chase County sutured up the lane and hit free throws in the waning seconds to keep the Lady Plainsmen from winning the tournament that their own people host.
Three Lady Longhorns reached double figures in scoring; guard Chantal Heathers split two defenders and spun a shot off the glass and also counted three of four free throws in the fourth quarter to finish with 10 points and ensure a win.
Forward Lexee Reichert rang up Chase County’s only three pointer and hit four free throws in finishing with 11 points.
Shania Metcalf stuffed in a missed shot to give the Lady Plainsmen a 2-0 lead. They never led again. A nifty spin and swish from Tori Osler pulled the Plainsmen even at 14-14 in the second quarter, but Reichert tracked her own miss and made sure the second time to wrestle the lead back in the Lady Longhorns’ favor on the next trip up the floor.
Perkins County fell behind by as many as seven points (29-22 and 37-30) and never pulled any closer than two points (40-38) off the lead.
The Lady Longhorns won the “points in the paint” battle (20-10), with many coming from put-backs of offensive rebounds.
Kristin Beck banked a three pointer, and Jessi Day struck from the corner for the Lady Plainsmen’s only bonus shots.
Perkins County slipped to 4-5 with the loss; Chase County notched just its third win in 10 outings.
Chase Co. 12 11 6 15—44
Perkins Co. 9 10 8 11—38
PC vs. Kimball
Point guard Kristin Beck lined a low hook shot into the net from the foul line late in the game to help her Lady Plainsmen avenge an earlier loss to Kimball with a 43-40, first-round win in the Perkins County Holiday Tournament Tuesday (Dec. 28) in Grant.
Beck also swished two free throws with 14 seconds left to seal the Lady Longhorns’ fate; she scored seven points on the night.
At times it looked as if the game’s two high-scorers would duel each other basket-for-basket.
Guard Darbi Klinkhammer scored the most, with 20 points for Kimball. Her put-back of an offensive rebound tied the game at 39-39, but her team really needed her to hit both ends of a “one-and-one” just seconds later.
Klinkhammer’s critical miss allowed the Lady Plainsmen a 41-40 lead. After Beck’s free throws, Kimball had to rustle up a three-pointer to tie the game. Guard Shelby Dickerson wished that her sideline shot would go in, but it held no hope for the Lady Longhorns.
Kimball trailed 41-40 but possessed the ball in the front court and had the opportunity to win on a final shot. But Lady Plainsmen senior guard Jessi Day intercepted a point-to-point pass and sent the ball the other way.
Tanya Metcalf about matched Klinkhammer for the Lady Plainsmen, scoring 17 herself. Consecutive baskets from a burst through the middle and a coast-to-coast drive with a defensive rebound gave Perkins County its largest lead at 30-22 in the third quarter.
Tanya Metcalf later teamed with sister Shania to put the Lady Plainsmen ahead to stay. Shania Metcalf absorbed a mugging from Kimball center Tori Reader and still got her shot to “go.” Tanya grabbed the “and one” free throw rebound and stuck it to give Perkins County a 39-37 lead.
Shania Metcalf posted five points in the game.
Perkins County forward Shalee Pollard paced her team with eight first-half points, slipping a defender for a four-foot jumper and burying two free throws.
Michi Prante scored the Lady Plainsmen’s only three pointer, and barely missed getting credit for a second one as her foot touched the arc just before she hit the shot.
PC 43, Kimball 40
Kimball 7 9 11 13—40
Perkins Co. 8 10 11 14—43
After three consecutive home games, the Lady Plainsmen will travel for the next three. They head to Benkelman for a crack at Dundy County-Stratton’s unblemished 7-0 record tonight (Thursday), and swing over to Sutherland to see the significance of the Lady Sailors’ 6-2 record in class D1 on Saturday night.