Beckman’s girls are on a roll, a four-game win streak to end their regular season.
Coming into the WaMaC make-up game, Feb. 8, at Beckman with a 4-15 record, the West Delaware girls were supposed to give the Blazers an easy win.
Not so, as the teams battled throughout with stingy defense, restraining the final score to 33-27 Blazers.
A long two from Lauren Osterhaus and a three from Kennedy Arens signaled a good start for both of the Blazers’ leading scorers and a 5-0 lead. The Hawks answered and led 8-7 on a Mia Peyton three. But Blazer Shelby Pirc would sandwich two lay-ups around a Lil McDermott bunny to hold a 13-10 lead at the half.
Hawk Ella Koloc exploded for five of their next seven to edge ahead 17-16, but Osterhaus and Kam Klas got that back for a 21-19 advantage to start the fourth.
Keeley Schmitt put back a miss, Arens made one-of-two at the line and Pirc scored again for a 26-19 lead to open the frame. Koloc pretty much single-handedly brought them back again, charging the lane for a plus-one and making two of three free throws to trail 26-22.
Jenna Lansing powered in for the rebound and put it back to make it 28-22 and Schmitt did the same for three more, 31-23, with three minutes left. Free throws accounted for the rest of the Hawks’ tallies, 4-of-6 for a 31-27 mark. Osterhaus sealed the game with two more in the final half-minute.
Coach Chad Thomason added, “It wasn’t pretty but we got the job done. Our defense was outstanding but then so was West Delaware’s. They took us out of our game and it was a struggle to score all night. We did enough to win and that’s all that matters. Hats off to them, we got lucky to come out with a win tonight.”
Individual stat leaders include: scoring — Lansing seven, Osterhaus and Pirc six, Schmitt five, Arens four (one three), Klas three (one), McDermott two; rebounds --Schmitt seven, Pirc six, Osterhaus and Arens five, Lansing three, McDermott two, Klas one; blocks — Klas and Lansing two, Pirc and Schmitt one; steals — McDermott six, Arens four, Klas and Pirc two, Lansing and Schmitt one; assists — McDermott, Pirc and Lansing two, Osterhaus and Schmitt one; turnovers — 12.
The very next night, they faced Center Point-Urbana and their trio of tall inside scorers. A stingy Blazer defense stymied the Stormin’ Pointers, handing them a 45-42 loss. It was the first time in 10 games played against CPU that the Blazers won.
But it looked like it would end much the same way the first nine games had, with a CPU victory, as the first quarter unfolded. The Pointers jumped to a 6-0 lead on baskets from that tall trio of players, Claire Neighbor, Emma DeSmet and Ryley Goebel. An Arens trey stopped the run, but they led 9-3 with four minutes to go. That’s when Lansing pounded inside for a plus-one and Arens converted a steal and it was a 9-8 game. Goebel answered but so did Arens, with another three and it was 11-11. The Blazers went on a slim run and ended up 15-11 at the break.
Three CPU free throws cut that to start the second quarter, but Osterhaus drilled a long two and converted a steal to put them back up, 19-14. The Blazers built that to 23-18 before DeSmet and Goebel led a half-ending run for a 24-23 lead.
In the third, the Pointers came back, outscoring the home team 10-4 before Arens drilled a three to end the frame, 34-30.
Goebel upped it to 36-30 but Arens scored the next five points to cut it to 36-35. Osterhaus and McDermott hit a couple of free throws and the margin was 38-37 CPU with four minutes showing. DeSmet made it three points seconds later but Arens put back a rebound and then swished a stolen lay-in to inch ahead 41-40. Osterhaus was fouled and sank both for a 43-40 lead with 41 seconds left.
DeSmet hit again with 19 seconds to go before a foul put steady Arens on the line for the answering shots with 1.1 seconds on the clock. A desperation toss to the backcourt was corralled by Schmitt and that was it.
With the team celebrating on the court, Thomason was ecstatic. “What a great win. We came back well at the end and finished it off. I can’t say enough about our seniors. Ken took over the game offensively and Keeley had two great steals at the end that sealed it.
“It was a great way to end the regular season and take the momentum into the postseason.”
Arens paced both teams with 26 (four, 4-of-4 at the line), balancing Goebel’s 13 and DeSmet’s 10. Osterhaus added nine, Schmitt six, Lansing three and McDermott one.
Other individual stats include: rebounds — Arens nine, Schmitt six, Osterhaus and Lansing three, Pirc two, McDermott one; blocks — Osterhaus two; steals — Arens, Osterhaus and Lansing three, McDermott and Schmitt two; assists — Osterhaus and McDermott three, Arens and Lansing one; turnovers — 26.
The Blazers roll into the postseason with a 10-10 record.