Althoff senior Kyleigh Vaught broke a 71-all tie with a 3-point play early in the second overtime to spark an 11-2 run and help the Crusaders to an 82-73 upset win over Hillsboro at the 31st annual Scott Credit Union Highland Tournament.
Vaught, who finished with 36 points, scored following a turnover by Hillsboro sophomore Sammi Matoush with about 2:30 remaining. The 5-9 senior then combined with senior Maggie Reimer to score the Crusaders final eight points and lift Althoff into a quarterfinal round game on Tuesday against Highland.
“This is a big win for us. We were able to make some big plays on both ends of the court late in the game,” Vaught said. “We’ve got six seniors on this team and we’re playing very well together right now.”
The win is the 13th in the last 17 games for the Cruasders who improve to 16-7 for the season. The win is also Althoff’s third in the last three weeks over a state-ranked team. Althoff has also defeated Okawville (Class 1A) and Mater Dei (2A) since Christmas. Hillsboro entered play on Monday ranked seventh in the Class 2A state poll.
Reimer, the other half of the Crusaders 1-2 scoring punch, added 29 points. The 6-foot senior tallied eight of her points in the second overtime — including four straight free throws in the final minute to help Althoff clinch the win.
“Persistence was a key for us today,” Althoff coach Nick Knolhoff said. “The way they (Hillsboro) shot the ball early, I was beginning to think they wouldn’t miss. But we got back to within one point at halftime. I think they (Hillsboro) scored first in both overtimes. But again we were persistent. This is a huge win for us.”
Hillsboro (17-4), got a 39-point effort out of Sammi Matoush. Her final points at the beginning of the second overtime gave the Hiltoppers the lead, but Reimer scored twice to set the stage for Vaught’s go-ahead 3-point play.
“She’s a very good young player,” Hillsboro coach Bret Tuetken said of Matoush. “She missed some free throws that she normally makes, but when we had chances we didn’t execute the way we needed to execute.”
Vaught combined with Reimer to score 22 of Althoff’s 24 points in the overtime periods. Matoush, who scored 14 of her 39 points in the first quarter, also added four 3-point field goals. Hillsboro senior Denzelle Moore added 23 points for the Hilltoppers.