Clutch buckets late fuel win


Chris Barnett

Makayla Jackson, forward, drives toward to the hoop during the game against Francis Howell Central, Jan. 6. The Wildcats won in the last 30 seconds, 58-55.

The Girls Varsity Basketball Team took on the Francis Howell Central Spartans at home and won in a thrilling last minute comeback win, 58-55, Jan. 6.

The Wildcats jumped out to a six-point lead after the first quarter, 17-11, fueled by a 7-0 run late in the quarter.

“We attacked the basket well,” Mr. James Alsup, head coach, said. “We are at our best when we attack off the dribble.”

The Spartans went on a 7-0 run of their own to end the first half, taking a four-point lead into the break, 32-28.

“In the second and third quarters we forgot how to defend anything,” Coach Alsup said. “We were giving them anything they wanted.”

After scoring four points in the first 30 seconds of the third quarter to tie the game at 32 apiece, the Wildcats mustered just one point for the rest of the quarter.

The third quarter was a defensive struggle with the Spartans posting six points and the Wildcats with five.

“It was poor execution on both teams,” Mallory Proffer, guard, said. “We didn’t move the ball around. We settled for a lot of first pass jump shots instead of going to the rim.”

The fourth quarter was a roller coaster ride for the Wildcats.

With about six minutes remaining the Spartans took their largest lead of the game, 46-35.

“We have a losing record and it was our first home game,” Proffer said. “In the fourth quarter we didn’t give up. We were tired of losing.”

Down by eight with 1:14 left, Justine Luze, forward, splashed home a three to cut the lead to five.

The clutch shots continued with a three from Lexi Roellig, guard, trimming the lead to two, 54-52.

Just seven seconds later, Roellig tied the game with a floater in the lane with 45 seconds left, 54-54.

“Players make plays,” Coach Alsup said. “Tough players win.”

After a foul on the other end and the Spartans knocking down one of two free throws the Wildcats went back under, 55-54.

Just a few seconds later Roellig was fouled and stepped to the line with her team down one and two free throws coming up.

Roellig sank both free throws, putting the Wildcats up for good, 56-55.

“Lexi did a great job keeping composure and making a lot of the final shots,” Proffer said.

The game ended 26 seconds later with the Wildcats winning, 58-55.

“We’ve had games like this where we’ve had a chance to win,” Coach Alsup said. “Today we figured out how to win.”

The Wildcats won their first home game of the season in thrilling fashion, coming back from an 11-point deficit to win by three.

The Wildcats next game will be on the road against Webster Groves, Jan. 9.