By Mike Phillips
It was not a game to write home to Momma about.
When the final buzzer sounded, the Concordia Lady Orioles escaped the rallying Sacred Heart Lady Gremlins 39-36 in a contest that could be labeled as ugly at best Monday night at the Sacred Heart gym.
Both teams missed tons of shots, were horrendous at the free throw line and committed bushels of turnovers.
“We didn’t play that badly,” said Sacred Heart Coach Shawn Bestgen. “We just need to make more shots. I’ve got a pretty young team out there. We’ve only got one starter back (point guard Gabbi Ebers). Last year we had Erica Stone, Kelli Lamb, Claire Fischer and Johannah Hohne.”
Concordia improved to 4-3 on the season while Sacred Heart slipped to 1-3. The Lady Gremlins had not played in 10 days.
On top of not being able to make a shot, the Lady Gremlins got in deep foul trouble early. Kate Wadley was whistled for three quick personal fouls in the first quarter and had to go to the bench. Sydney Smith got her second foul in the first quarter and was saddled with her third early in the second quarter and had to take a seat. Ebers picked up two quick fouls and went to the bench until the second half.
“Luckily no one fouled out,” said Bestgen. “But losing Gabbi early really hurt us because she runs our offense.”
Fortunately for the Lady Gremlins, putting Concordia at the free throw line was almost a blessing in disguise. The Lady Orioles shot an ice-cold 33 percent from the line, making just 10 of 30 in the game. Sacred Heart wasn’t any better from the stripe, making just three of 13.
Hailee Langkrahr scored the first five Lady Oriole points including a trey before Sacred Heart’s Kayla Holland broke a six-minute scoreless drought to get Sacred Heart within 5-2. Concordia led 7-4 after one quarter but missed five free throws and turned the ball over six times in the first quarter.
Kelsey Keele scored early in the second quarter to get Sacred Heart within 7-6. Langkrahr buried her second trey from the top of the key to get Concordia up 10-6.
Langkrahr led all her team in the game with 20 points and was 3-of-14 from the free throw line.
The Lady Orioles went on a run late in the second quarter to build a 15-8 lead. Sydney Eicholz and Lauren Tanguay scored back-to-back baskets for Sacred Heart to get the Lady Gremlins within 18-15.
Concordia led 19-16 at the half.
Claudia Cox scored from the baseline three minutes into the third quarter and Sacred Heart was closing in at 23-21.
Concordia went on an 8-0 run with a trey by Cailey Cooper to go up 31-23. Smith scored to get Sacred Heart within 31-25 after three quarters.
A momentum change came for Sacred Heart to start the fourth stanza. Smith scored twice to get the Lady Gremlins within 31-29. Cox buried a trey from the left corner and the Lady Gremlins had their first lead at 32-31.
Kayla Brackman hit a runner in the lane to put Concordia back on top 34-33. Smith answered again as the Lady Gremlins retook the lead 34-33.
Langkrahr hit from the top of the key to put the Lady Orioles back on top 36-35. Mary Fischer scored for Sacred Heart and the lead switched hands again with Sacred Heart up 36-35.
The Lady Gremlins missed six shots and turned the ball over twice in the last 1:30.
Dakota Miller hit a trey with 16 seconds left that proved to be the game winner and Concordia hit a free throw with one second left to seal the win.
Smith led Sacred Heart with 20 points and Cox added seven with a trey.
Langkrahr led Concordia with 20 and Katlin Murray added seven. Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia News Journal.