MOUNDRIDGE — If Inman High School junior Macy DeWitt was one-tenth of a second slower, perhaps the game would have been different.
With time winding down in a 37-37 game, DeWitt drove left and drew a foul with .1 seconds remaining on the clock. DeWitt went to the line to shoot two, needing just one to send Inman over Moundridge.
The pressure was squarely on DeWitt after she missed the first one, but she responded by confidently draining the second free throw to help Inman escape with a victory.
While DeWitt is not the best free throw shooter on the team, Inman head coach Bill Maurer was glad it was DeWitt at the free throw line.
“Macy is not the highest percentage free throw shooter we got, but she’s by far the biggest competitor we’ve got,” Maurer said. “If there’s somebody who can handle the pressure and knock that shot down, I have a lot of confidence that Macy is the one who could do it for us.”
The game was close from start to finish, but Inman always seemed to have the upper hand. The Teutons jumped out to a 6-0 lead thanks to 3-pointers by Ashtyn Schroeder and Baylie Jo Ediger to start the game.
Moundridge’s Kaela Helms responded with a 3-pointer of her own, and a Kassidy Kaufman 3-pointer with 35 seconds left in the first quarter tied the game at 11. The second quarter was back and forth until Helms nailed a contested corner 3-pointer with two second left in the half, giving the Wildcats a 21-18 lead at the break.
The Teutons clamped down defensively in the second half and only allowed four points in the third quarter. Inman led 29-25 after three, but the Wildcats battled back to tie the game once more.
The fourth quarter was highly competitive like the other three quarters, as the game was tied at 35 with a minute to go. Inman’s MaKayla Michael put the Teutons on top with a layup, but Moundridge’s Bethany Stucky immediately responded with a layup of her own for the Wildcats.
The Teutons had the ball with 15 seconds left and settled for one shot. DeWitt found some open space on the perimeter, took the ball strong to the hoop, and was fouled with the game clock reading 0.1. DeWitt knocked down the second free throw and the Teutons survived in Moundridge.
“Defensively we were really good,” Maurer said. “The key for us defensively is we have to be in a position to help and stop the drive. Our guards did an outstanding job of that tonight.”
Inman is now 2-1 on the season and will face Hillsboro Friday at 4 p.m. in Moundridge.
Thursday night was the second straight loss for Moundridge, who opened the season with a convincing win. In a game decided at the charity stripe, Moundridge head coach Brian Holloway said free throws were the dagger for his Wildcats.
“I thought both teams rebounded and shot well, but we did not shoot free throws very well,” Holloway said. “We missed a few layups, but free throws were the difference in this one I guarantee it.”
The Wildcats will look to even their record up at 2-2 on Friday when they host Lyons at 7 p.m.
Contact Gallagher Martin by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GMartinSentinel