By Dave Pearce
The North Posey Lady Vikings have apparently saved the best for last.
The Lady Vikings were within one shot of taking all three conference games this week, the final week of the regular season for the ladies. But a last-second 3-point shot allowed the Gibson Southern Titans to slip by the Vikings on Saturday. However, the loss to the Class 3A Titans did not spoil a great week of basketball for the Lady Vikings.
On Senior Night, the seniors apparently decided to put their best foot forward as Amy Brandenstein, Brianna Perry, and Kendall Morris each had one of their best games of the season in an overwhelming victory over the South Spencer ebels.
The game was close throughout the first quarter as Hannah Harness opened the scoring and Madison Worman gave the Vikings a 5-2 lead.
But the pesky Lady Rebels made a game of it in the early going, hitting back-to-back baskets inside.
After Worman’s second 3-pointer of the quarter put the Viking back ahead, they had a lead they would never lose.
The Vikings must have been shooting hot because as Brianna Perry was converting a steal into a lay-up with about three minutes left in the first period, someone pulled the fire alarm and the game was put on hold until the situation was cleared.
On the next trip down, Kelsey Owen capitalized on a rebound put-back before Kendall Morris got a steal and a lay-up and by the end of the first period, the Lady Vikes had built a 14-8 lead.
But an efficient offense and a smothering defense soon took away any hope the Lady Rebels might have had of springing the upset.
Owen got another steal and lay-up to open the second period but the Lady Rebels answered. But Amy Brandenstein was fouled on successive trips down the floor and buried all four free throws to give the team a 20-10 lead before the Rebels could get a free throw.
The Lady Vikings scored the next seven points of the quarter as Perry went on a 6-0 scoring run of her own and Morris added a free throw to give the team a 27-13 lead going into half-time.
“I thought the three seniors represented themselves very well, North Posey Coach Tracey Stroud said of the trio. “They each had a good game. It was very appropriate for senior night.”
Both the offense and defense stepped up in the third quarter as Hannah Harness had four in the quarter while Perry, Morris, and Owen all added points. The defense held the Rebels to six points in the quarter while on the offensive end, the Vikings out up another 14 to take a commanding 41-17 lead into the final period.
The Vikings outscored the Lady Rebels 10-6 in the final period.
Perry led the team with 14 points while Hannah Harness had ten and Amy Brandenstein had eight. Owen finished with seven while Worman and Morris had six apiece.
It had been quite some time since the Lady Vikings had made a successful trip to Forest Park but this group did just that this week, handing the Lady Rangers a 57-45 loss on their home court.
The Lady Vikings took a 16-12 lead at the end of the first period and outscored the Lady Rangers in each quarter except the fourth. The Lady Vikings were shooting the ball the way their coach knows they are capable as Hannah Harness and Worman each had a pair of 3-point goals. Perry added one as well as the inside-outside punch proved to be too much for the Lady Rangers.
Hannah Harness finished with 17 points while Worman had 13, and Owen had 10 to lead the way. Hayley Harness added six while Perry added five, Morris four, and Rachel Ungetheim two for the victorious Vikings.
“We played well and built a pretty big lead,” Stroud said. “They cut it to nine but we didn’t let them get it any closer than that. And, we had three players in double figures.”
Although the team played well in the pair of wins, they played just as well in the narrow two-point loss to the Lady Titans on Saturday.
The game was tied at 27 at the half.
“We played a solid game today but they hit seven 3-pointers,” Stroud said of the long-range Lady Titans. “They shot extremely well. With about two minutes to go in the fourth quarter we were down by about seven and it wasn’t looking good.”
But the Lady Vikings fought back, something that pleased Stroud very much.
“We could have just folded up right then when we got down by seven but we made a run on them and got some steals.”
With 10 seconds to go in the game, the Lady Vikings took their first lead of the second half, a one-point margin off a lay-up basket off a steal.
The Lady Titans got the ball upcourt and called time out with five seconds to go. A basket of any kind would give the Lady Titans the win.
With the Lady Vikings shutting down the inside, the Titans decided to put their fate in the hands of their 3-point shooters. This time it paid off as the 3-pointer went through the bucket as the buzzer sounded to give the Titans the 2-point win.
“They threw a pass in to a girl who was about a step below the volleyball line and she caught it, shot it, and it went in,” Stroud said. “It was at least four feet behind the 3-point line and we had a hand in her face. It is just one of those things. If she misses that shot, we’re partying. If she makes it, they are partying.”
The loss marked the end of the regular season with the Lady Vikings sitting at 13-8.
“It was a good basketball game all the way through and it was a fun game to get us ready for sectionals, “Stroud said. “I was pleased with out effort and how we played. ”It was a good experience for us.”
The Lady Vikings will have over a week to prepare for their first sectional opponent. The draw was held on Sunday afternoon but results of the draw were not available at press time.
“We’re going to get ready for whoever we draw,” Stroud said on Saturday evening. “We’ve got some plans to keep them in game shape. We have a few just getting over the flu and we will use this week to get healthy and get ready for the tournament.”