Girls Basketball

Mater Dei’s season comes up just short of reaching Redbird Arena

Mater Dei girls fall in 2A super sectional

Breese Mater Dei Catholic High School Knights girls basketball coach Dave Kohnen breaks down his team's IHSA girls basketball super sectional loss to the Camp Point Central High School Panthers at the Jacksonville (Illinois College) Class 2A girls
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Breese Mater Dei Catholic High School Knights girls basketball coach Dave Kohnen breaks down his team's IHSA girls basketball super sectional loss to the Camp Point Central High School Panthers at the Jacksonville (Illinois College) Class 2A girls

They were without their 6-foot all-state forward, but unfortunately for Mater Dei, the Camp Point Central Co-Op Panthers still had Laney Lantz.

The sophomore guard scored 13 of her game-high 25 points during a fourth-quarter blitz that lifted Camp Point to a 43-36 win over Mater Dei at the Jacksonville Class 2A girls basketball super-sectional.

Camp Point (25-3), which finished third in state last season, will make its second consecutive trip to the Illinois Final Four. The chances of that happening were diminished with the loss of senior forward Kolby McClelland, a Murray State University volleyball commit, who went down with a knee injury in January.

But Lantz picked up the slack, topping 20 points in each of the Panthers’ post-season games. Against Mater Dei, she shot 7-for-16 from the field and hit on 11-of-12 free throw attempts, including a string of seven straight in the game’s final 41 seconds.

Camp Point will face Byron High School in the state semifinal at Redbird Arena in Bloomington on Friday.

“If there’s one thing we have it’s heart and that’s what it came down to at the end,” Lantz said. “I’m just really thankful I have a second-half team like this that’s never going to give up and always going to fight forward whatever the score may be.”

The season ends with disappointment for Mater Dei (20-11), which led most of the second half and built a six-point lead midway the fourth quarter.

“We had some opportunties and didn’t see the floor, but that’s just part of the game,” said Mater Dei coach Dave Kohnen. “We turned it over too many times and if we hit a couple more free throws the whole game changes.”

Key moments

An 8-2 run put Camp Point ahead early, but a 3-pointer by senior Logan Braundmeier sparked a 7-0 Mater Dei run that made it a game.

Trailing by five, the Knights picked up the pressure on defense and held Camp Point to just three second-quarter field goals. The Knights wasted chances to seize the lead, missing all five first-half free throws.

But Ciara Perkes snagged the rebound on the last of those misses and scored at the buzzer to give the Knights a 19-18 halftime lead.

The lead held until Lantz scored eight straight fourth-quarter points to tie the game 1:51 left. Camp Point closed by hitting 11 straight free throws to open a six-point lead. That was the biggest lead either team held until a final free throw by Lantz cinched the 43-36 final.

Mater Dei shot just 39 percent from the field and landed just six of 15 free throw attempts.

“We stuck it out, but we couldn’t finish. It was our mistakes,” Brandmeier saud. “Tonight every single one of us was off on free throws. We all missed our share and I think that’s what truly lost us the game.”

Key performances

Sophomore Kierra Winkeler was the only Mater Dei player in double figures with 10 points. Myah Beckmann’s rebounds also led Mater Dei, which out rebonded Camp Point during the game 29-22.

Kelsey Gerdes had eight points and four rebounds, Braundmeier scored seven with five boards.

Brianna Hildebrand joined Lantz in double figures with 12 points to go with six rebounds.

Todd Eschman: 618-239-2540, @tceschman

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