What an unbelievable win that was over a tough, well-coached team…Northrup. Winning is FUN. But it’s always much more fun when we end up winning after having one foot in the grave, and the other on a banana peel!
After falling behind in the final minute by 3 points, Northrup had control of the ball. I can’t even remember if they turned it over, or missed 2 free throws. But either way, we were fortunate to get it back with seconds remaining, still 3 behind.
Emma Wolfe, our top player is incredible! After a timeout, play resumed. A Northrup defender knocked the ball out of her hands with seconds left, so Emma had to quickly retrieve the loose ball a few feet in the backcourt. I glanced at the clock. I figured she would still have time to get a shot off just before the buzzer. I was correct. But they all knew we needed a 3 to tie the game! So they were waiting for her around the 3-point circle. So as she got there, Emma kind of crossed over her dribble a little to the left, and let it fly! It was a fairly flat shot. NOTHING BUT NET! That set off a wild celebration, with all her teammates mobbing her out on the floor! Tie game! What a clutch shot it was! I’m sure Northrup was stunned.
Overtime! That was the good news. No, that was the “great” news. But Kayla Knapke, a rock solid Senior, and second team ALL-SAC last year had just fouled out. So Madi Jennings came back in to replace her. Kayla was our 2nd girl to foul out in the 4th quarter. And our other 4 players (except Madi) all had 4 fouls, as the overtime started! Not an ideal scenario, to say the least!
Madi Jennings just signed to play BBall with Trine University earlier in the day, in the school library. I’ve known Madi well, since way back in 6th grade. She was also one of my very best golfers. She has come a long way in basketball since then, both offensively and defensively, especially in the last year. Madi is very athletic, and is also really tough minded, something that helps her in both sports, and in softball, as well. Madi was the one that gave us the spark early in the overtime period. She hit a left side baseline jump shot from about 13 feet to give Luers their first lead in quite awhile. Then she got fouled in the next possession.
She calmly sunk both free throws, and Northrup never regained the lead! Madi Jennings gave the team the spark that was needed to pull it off; on her already VERY SPECIAL DAY. Her teammates clutch free throws in the waning seconds clinched it for Luers. And it was Madi that gave us the spark from the start of “OT.” Also, none of her 4 teammates on the floor fouled out of the overtime. Emma led all hoopsters with 23 points.
What a big win this was for Luers Girls Basketball. It kept us undefeated in the SAC. And with our 42 point win over North Side on Saturday, Bishop Luers is 7-3 overall, with a 4-0 SAC Conference record! Coach Mark Pixley has done a masterful job this year with a tough schedule. It is going to get tougher! Saturday’s North Side win was the only blowout we’ve had this year. Every other game we’ve had but one has either been relatively close down the stretch or really close throughout the 4th quarter! But this crazy win ranks up there as one of my all-time greatest come-from-behind victories since I started coaching the BL Freshmen girls (and helping Gary Andrews and Denny Renier with the Varsity and JV teams) back in 1992. All 3 local stations had the game’s highlights on the Sports telecast last night! And two of them had Emma’s big shot on their highlights. I believe that WFFT-TV also had Madi’s sweet jump shot in overtime, as well as, her signing with Trine in the afternoon! What a perfect ending to an exciting day for Madi Jennings, and all her teammates!