BREESE — If the Mater Dei Knights weren't ready for the start of the 2014 Class 3A postseason before, they should be now.
Junior Lauren Donnewald scored on a conventional 3-point play with 2:28 remaining in overtime to provide the difference as Mater Dei nipped the Teutopolis Wooden Shoes 35-32 in a battle of perennial girls basketball powers on Monday at Mater Dei High School.
Just a little over 48 hours removed from a win over defending Class 2A state champion Nashville, the Knights found themselves in another postseason type game against one of the state's top programs.
Teutopolis (21-5), which trailed most of the game, drew first blood in the overtime session when sophomore Anna Hartke scored on a short jumper.
Btu when the 5-foot-10 Donnewald scored and hit the ensuing free throw, Mater Dei (17-8) had the lead for good.
Mater Dei senior Madeline Lager had a chance to give her team some breathing room but missed the front end of a 1-and-1 twice in a 30-second span.
Following a time-out with 33.9 seconds remaining, the Wooden Shoes worked the clock down, but Madeline Hartke missed a layup and the Knights got the rebound.
Knights junior Olivia Theising was fouled and made both free throws with 1.1 seconds remaining to ice the game.
"This is the type of game you want to play at this time of year. Two good teams battling hard. Win or lose this is a good test for us," Knights coach David Kohnen said. "Nashville on Saturday and T-town tonight. And I'll got back even further then that when we beat a good Carbondale team. This was a postseason type game. It's got to help us get read for what we have ahead."
Theising was the only player on either team to score in double figures as she led the Knights attack.
Theising and Avoynna Kampwerth combined for 10 points in the first quarter as Mater Dei took a 13-5 lead. But Teutopolis, which didn't have a field goal until just 5:28 remained in the first half, chipped away all night.
It wasn't until Chelsey Hardiek scored on two free throws with 4:02 left, that the Wooden Shoes were even at 28.
"We've still got some things to work on, but I thought the kids did a lot of good things out there tonight,'' Kohnen said. "Especially on the defensive end. I thought we did a good job of switching defenses.''
Despite the Knights defensive effort, the Wooden Shoes still had a chance to win the game had Hartke's shot fell.
Teutopolis coach Laurie Thompson wouldn't say she thought Hartke was fouled on the play.
"If they (the officials) call it like they had been calling the game all night .... I don't want to talk about it," Thompson said. "The execution on the play was perfect. We just missed the shot. That's not what beat us though. We didn't rebound very well."
Contact reporter Dean Criddle at 239-2661 or firstname.lastname@example.org