MOUNDRIDGE— It came down to the last five seconds in the Class 1A regional sub-state semifinals, and Moundridge had the opportunity to make a game-winning shot, but it wasn't meant to be in the end as the No.2 seed Berean Academy girls basketball team stunned Moundridge High School, 45-44, in their home court on Thursday night.
It was not a good start for the Lady Wildcats as the Warriors went on a 9-0 run to begin the first quarter. Hailey Unruh stopped the bleeding with a layup basket and helped brought back the Lady Wildcats to a 7-0 run. After trailing 9-0, the Lady Wildcats were able to end the quarter down 11-7.
"They pushed us and got away with it,"They were more aggressive than what we were," Moundridge head coach Brian Holloway said after the game.
Moundridge made some defensive stops, but the Warriors still was ahead. Katie Eichelberger brought more energy coming off the bench as she put up six points to keep it a closer game. Unruh and Eichelberger kept Moundridge in the ball game despite Moundridge not making a three-pointer the entire first half.
Down by two possession, 19-15, Moundridge continued to play catch-up ball in the second half. Katie Stucky gave the Wildcats their first three-pointer of the night. However, Berean Academy was already on a 7-0 run. Everything went the Lady Warriors way in the final minute of the third quarter as they led 35-26.
Berean Academy carried their largets lead of the night, 38-26, but Moundridge found their shooting rhythm led by Kourtney Kaufman and Ellen Durst as they both shot three straight three-pointers.
"Maybe they wore down, and they got a little tired. That gave us a chance to knock down some shots, Holloway said.
Berean Academy struggled from the free throw line late in the fourth quarter that could've sealed them the win, even when Moundridge went over their limit. Both teams went back-and-forth. Moundridge went on an 11-0 run and was back to trailing 41-40. 'As they exchanged buckets in the final minute mark, the Warriors was ahead, 45-44 with five seconds left in the game. It was Moundridge's ball, and Kaela Helms passed it to Eichelberger through the baseline where she attempted the final layup and missed as the clock reached zero. It was a missed opportunity for the Lady Wildcats to get a come-from-behind bictory, but the Wildcats' season came to an end.
"The kids played hard and tough all night," Holloway said. "We knew it was going to be a tough game, and all honestly, that was a championship game right there. It was too bad we weren't on the other side of the bracket. It was a good game."
Eichelberger came up big for the lady Wildcats as she led with 12 points. Kourtney Kaufman was the second-leading scorer with eight points, and Unruh finished with seven points.
Clara Eldridge was the top scorer for the Warriors with 11 points. Berean Academy will advance to the regional finals on Saturday as they will take on Chase County High School, who defeated Rosalia-Flinthills High School 53-44, earlier that night. Moundridge finished the season at 12-8.
Contact Peter Holland Jr. by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @Petes_Picks_orour sports page @MacCountySports