Lebanon senior Casey Berberich and junior Krista Bass each made two free throws in the final 29 seconds to give the Greyhounds a 46-43 win over Okawville on Thursday in a battle of state-ranked Class 1A girls basketball teams.
Undefeated and ranked first in the Class 1A state poll released earlier in the week, the Greyhounds (15-0) led the third-ranked Rockets (13-4) by as many as 10 points midway in the third quarter.
But Okawville, getting seven fourth quarter points from junior Madison Hackstadt, rallied. A basket by the Rockets’ Casean Tebbe cut the Greyhounds’ lead to 42-40 with 1:40 left, and when Lebanon committed a turnover with just more than a minute left, Okawville had a chance to tie.
Following a pair of timeouts by Okawville coach Michelle Hasheider-Burianek to set up a play, Hackstadt was called for a traveling violation with about 29 seconds remaining.
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With Okawville forced to foul, Berberich and Krista Bass made four free throws to ice the win.
“This was a game where I think we rattled them a little bit, and in the fourth quarter they rattled us a little bit. Fortunately, we had a couple of players step up and make some big throws when we needed them to,” Lebanon coach Chad Cruthis said.
Hasheider-Burianek said she was pleased with the Rockets effort.
“Hopefully we’ll see Lebanon again in the (sectional). This was a big game and we wanted to win, but if we came away learning some things about ourselves heading down the last few weeks here and we become better. That’s a good thing,” she said.
Lebanon led 9-6 after one quarter, but with Kendra Bass scoring nine of her 17 points and junior Emily Reinneck connecting on three of her four 3-point baskets before halftime, the Greyhounds lead grew to as much as nine points late in the second quarter.
Okawville junior Madelyn Teppe made back-to-back short-range jumpers, and Hackstadt hit a 3-point shot as Okawville climbed back to within 24-21. But Reinneck closed the first half with a 3-point jumper as the Greyhounds stretched their lead back to six points.
“I felt good, and I thought I was going to have a good game tonight,” Reinneck said. “We knew this would be a tough game because Okawville is a good team, and they had beaten us last year. We didn’t want to that to happen again tonight. We were ready to play.”
Kendra Bass led Lebanon with 17 points, while Reinneck added 14. Hackstadt led Okawville with 14 points, while Tebbe added 11.