Mater Dei downs Maroons in overtime

News-DemocratDecember 4, 2013 

— With two key Belleville West starters on the bench after fouling out, the Mater Dei Knights seized the moment.

The Knights took control by scoring six unanswered points at the start of overtime and beat the Maroons 51-45 on Wednesday in a nonconference girls basketball game.

"The kids sense it, too, especially when they had the two big scorers out,'' Mater Dei coach Dave Kohnen said. "Now is the time for us to capitalize on it, and I thought we did.''

The Knights had five players with eight or more points.

Avoynna Kampwerth led the way with 12 points, followed by Lindsey Perkes with 10 points, Madeline Lager with nine points and Olivia Theising and Lauren Donnewald both had eight.

The Knights (3-1) turned the tables on the Maroons (3-1), who had beaten them 44-31 less than two weeks ago in the championship game of the Alton Tip-Off Classic.

"We ran our offense a little bit better tonight,'' Kohnen said. "We still have some work to do. There is a lot of little things that are disrupting our execution, and we have to get them straight.

"This is a talented group. We have to eliminate some of the things that are making us work harder. We won't have to work that hard if we eliminate some of those errors.''

The Maroons were paced by Imani Berry with 14 points, Shay Fluker had 11 points and Jesheon Cooper finished with 10.

Both Fluker and the 6-foot-5 Cooper fouled out in the fourth quarter.

"We did not take care of the ball, we did not shoot free throws very well,'' said West coach Clayton Fisher, whose squad committed seven turnovers in the fourth quarter and made 13 of their 25 free-throw attempts. "I'll take responsibility for that.

"Maybe we need to practice our free throws a little more, maybe we need to practice taking care of the ball because we were fumbling it all over the place, and that's what beat us. And, give Mater Dei all the credit in the world.''

The Maroons used a 12-0 run -- they scored the final six points of the third quarter and the first six points of the fourth quarter -- to take a 37-27 lead with 6 1/2 minutes left in the fourth quarter.

The Knights fought back within one twice, before take a 43-42 lead on a 3-pointer by Theising with 19 seconds remaining.

West's Kayla Juenger was fouled with 5.2 seconds on the clock. Juenger missed the first free throw, but made the second to send the game into overtime.

Theising scored on a wide-open layup to start the overtime for the Knights.

Perkes hit a shot from the wing and Donnewald scored inside as Mater Dei went up 47-43.

Juenger scored from close range to cut Mater Dei's advantage to 49-45 with 1:30 left in overtime, but Chloe Beckmann sank two free throws with 1:07 remaining to help seal the win.

The Knights also struggled on free throws. They were 13-for-26 at the free-throw line.

Both teams were forced to rely heavily on their benches because of foul trouble.

The Knights had four players with four fouls on the court at one point in the final quarter.

"There was a lot of fouls called, and rightfully so,'' Kohnen said. "There was a lot of hand-checking, there was a lot slapping at the ball when the ball is being shot.''

Contact reporter Steve Korte at skorte@bnd.com or 239-2522.

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