By Murray Gleffe, Correspondent
WEST DE PERE- The Ashwaubenon Jaguar girls basketball team squandered a seven-point lead with 6:43 left Monday evening (Nov. 27) and eventually lost the game in overtime to the West De Pere Phantoms by a final of 65-56.
Hayden Kupsh led the Jaguars with 30 points, and Megan Servais chipped in 7 points along with 8 rebounds.
The Jaguars won the opening tip, and Kupsh put home the left-handed layup just four seconds into the contest.
The teams then traded baskets until Servais gathered a rebound off a teammate’s miss and put home the two-foot bucket to put the Jaguars up 9-6 five minutes into the game.
The Phantoms showed their tenacity, however, by going on a 7-0 run themselves to go up 13-9 with 12:25 remaining in the first half.
Much of that was fueled by the play of Samantha Carriveau and Brehna Evans who came into the contest averaging a whopping 34.5 points per game.
Ashwaubenon Jaguar Head Coach Nicky VanLaanen called a time out.
The Phantoms had stalled the Jaguars frantic fast break offense and forced them into a half-court set where they weren’t hitting as many shots.
After the stoppage of play, the Jaguars sent two players down the offensive end on every missed attempt by the Phantoms. It paid off.
The Jaguars scored their next 14 of 16 points in transition (many of them by Kupsh) to regain the lead at 25-19 with a few minutes left till intermission.
“We got out and ran against West De Pere in the first half,” said Nicky VanLaanen, Ashwaubenon Jaguar Basketball Coach. “We are a very good transition team, and the key was we didn’t give up hardly any offensive rebounds in those first 18 minutes of play.”
The Phantoms closed on a mini-run and they trailed by only two points (33-31) heading into halftime.
The Jaguars slowly built their one possession lead up to start the second half.
The Jaguar’s Koch picked up a steal on the perimeter and went coast-to-coast for the layup to put the Jaguars up 44-37 with 10:23 left.
With 6:54 remaining in the contest, Autumn Schlader hit a cold-blooded three-pointer from the top of the key to give the Jaguars a 50-43 lead.
For all intent purposes, it looked like the Jaguars would go on to get the road victory.
The Jaguars offense then went ice cold, and they were held without a field goal the rest of regulation time.
The Phantoms fought back with an up and under move by Alivia McNabb to cut the margin to 50-49 with 3:11 left. They then completed the comeback when Evans hit a runner in the lane to put the team up by two with just over a minute left.
Kupsh added two free throws for the Jaguars in the waning seconds to send the game into overtime at 52 all.
All the momentum and energy was on the Phantoms side.
The Jaguars scored the first two points of overtime on a crafty layup by Servais but it was all Phantoms the final 3:45. They outscored the Jaguars 13-2 in the overtime stanza and went onto capture the game by nine points.
“Hayden has played exceptionally well for us in these first three games,” added VanLaanen. “However, we have to hit more shots in the half-court if we are going to be successful this year. We have to work on that in practice and be ready for Preble on Thursday.”
West De Pere/Ashwaubenon Box Score
West De Pere 31, 21, 13 65
Ashwaubenon 33, 19, 4 56
Phantom Totals: FG’s 23-46, 3 PT FG’s 5-14, FT’s 14-17, Rebounds 22, Assists 12, Steals 7, Blocks 0, Turnovers 17, Personal Fouls 12
Evans 22, Carriveau 15, Thomsen 8, McNabb 8, Appleton 8, Denis 4
Jaguar Totals: FG’s 22-58, 3 PT FG’s 5-18, FT’s 7-8, Rebounds 32, Assists 19, Steals 5, Blocks 2, Turnovers 21, Personal Fouls 15
Kupsh 30, Servais 7, Koch 6, Schlader 6, Wright 4, VanLaanen 3