Knights bank on Lager in come-from-behind win over Hornettes

News-DemocratFebruary 1, 2014 

— Everything went right for Madeline Lager and the Mater Dei Knights in the second half of their game against the Nashville Hornettes.

Lager scored 17 of her 19 points, including all five of her 3-pointers in the second half, as the Knights overcame a 14-point, third-quarter deficit to beat the Hornettes 46-43 Saturday in girls basketball.

Lager, a 5-foot-7 senior guard, even banked in two of her 3-pointers.

"We came out in the second half down by 12, and I just knew that I had to take charge," Lager said. "I just kept shooting, and after I hit a couple, I got confidence. I just keeping shooting and I was hitting them, so I guess I was on."

Asked if she called those banks, Lager said, "No, I didn't, but I should have."

The Knights will take them anyway, especially against a team that is known for milking the clock like the Hornettes.

"We ran out of gas a little bit," said Nashville coach Wayne Harre, whose team didn't score a field goal over the final 10 1/2 minutes of the game. "Those kind of games we usually win. We were trying to get up and down the floor a little bit, and then we have to slow it down. Part of it was my fault. We haven't worked on two-minute situations for a while in practice, so I took some of the blame on it.

"We'll learn from it. I told then, 'That's a postseason game where you have a lead and you have to milk some clock and make sure we get a good shot or a good look.' We just shot it too fast, and they made some tough shots. At the same time, we have to milk clock, milk clock and see what we get. We just didn't play smart down the stretch."

The Knights (16-8) trailed 37-23 after a layup by Jordi Harre with 2:56 left in the third quarter.

The Hornettes (23-3) were down by 10 points going into the fourth quarter, but they went on an 11-0 run to go ahead 42-41 with 4:38 remaining.

"After the game was over, the first thing I thought about was Jack Buck saying when (Kirk) Gibson hit the home run, 'I don't believe what I just saw,"' Mater Dei coach Dave Kohnen said. "The way it happened, it happened so fast. We hit some buckets that we weren't hitting before."

Lager had two 3-pointers, including a bank from near the top of the key, during the surge.

"When she banks two in, you really can't do much with it," Harre said. "That's six points. Those two shots are probably the game."

The Hornettes briefly regained the lead on two free throws by Kiley Pelker with 1:55 left.

It was the only points scored by the Hornettes in the fourth quarter.

The Knights regained the lead on two free throws by Olivia Theising with 1:35 left. Theising added two more free throws with 57 seconds to go.

The Knights missed the front end of a couple of one-on-one opportunities that could have sealed the win in the final 31 seconds.

Nashville's Jordi Harre attempted a potential game-tying 3 from 30-feet out at the buzzer, but it was short off the front of the rim.

Jordi Harre led all scores with 23 points.

The Hornettes also got seven points from Shawn Rennergarbe, six points from Hannah Yung and five from Pelker.

Theising finished with nine points and Avoynna Kampwerth had eight for the Knights.

It was the third meeting this season between the two teams. They'd spilt their two previous encounters with Nashville winning 28-25 on Dec. 28 at the Mascoutah Tournament and Mater Dei winning 38-28 on Jan. 20 at the Highland Tournament.

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

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