Golden Raiders edge out Jaguars in waning seconds
By Murray Gleffe, Correspondent
ASHWAUBENON-(Jan. 23) Kylie Gierach connected on two free throws with just three seconds remaining in the game to lift the Sheboygan North Golden Raiders past the Ashwaubenon Jaguars by a final of 47-45 in girls’ basketball action.
Autumn Schlader was the only double-digit scorer (Jaguars) finishing with 21 points.
The Golden Raiders made all 14 free throws that they attempted.
Both teams found the scoring hard to come by in the opening six minutes of the game.
With both coaches employing a zone on defense, both offenses were persuaded into firing from long-range with the perimeter being open.
Numerous triples went up but did not come down through the net.
The Jaguars and Golden Raiders knew at that point they needed to get some interior movement going and that is exactly what happened!
With 11:54 remaining till halftime, Lydia Schaible got open in the paint and threw a left-handed scoop shot into the basket to give the Jaguars an early 5-4 lead.
Schlader started her assault from 12 feet and in with a hard take to the rim and completed the three-point play after she was fouled.
A little later in the half, she posted up at the elbow, and Hayden Kupsh fed her a great entry pass and the four-footer found nothing but nylon.
With the score even at 19, with 4:20 left in the half, the Golden Raiders ended on an 11-2 run in part to second chance points.
“I didn’t feel like we blocked out well in the first 18 minutes of the game,” said Jaguar Basketball Coach Nicky VanLaanen. “North got way too many second chance points those last few minutes of the first half and consequently put us in a deficit at halftime.”
Mariah Platz and Meridith Opie got interior looks and when one didn’t connect, the other was there for the offensive put-back.
The last four possessions of the half, the Golden Raiders used their muscle on the glass to forge a nine-point lead at the break (30-21).
The Jaguars knew they had to make a run early in the second stanza if they were going to get back in the ball game.
Four minutes into half number two, the Golden Raiders held a double-digit lead (36-26).
It looked like for all intent purposes they were in control of the game.
Things then changed dramatically as the Golden Raiders field goal shooting went dead cold for the next 11 minutes.
Schlader started the big Jaguar run by hitting a free throw jumper and then Kally VanLaanen got into the action by connecting on a layup where she pump-faked her defender first before putting the ball in.
After Kupsh hit a baseline jumper where the Golden Raiders offered no resistance, the Jaguars had gone from being down 10 to up 5.
It was part of an 18-3 run to take a 44-39 lead with 3:35 left in the game.
“I felt like we responded really well in the second half,” added VanLaanen. “I got after them in the locker room about being stronger on the glass and squaring up to the basket when you receive the ball. I was extremely happy with the play up until obviously the last couple of minutes where we turned the ball over and missed a couple of key free throws. They were 100% from the line tonight. That wins ball games.”
The Golden Raiders composed themselves and started their comeback by Opie and Gierach nailing a couple of free throws to cut the margin to 45-43 with just 43 seconds left.
Things then got a bit chaotic in the backcourt.
The Jaguars turned the ball over twice coming up the floor. It proved too be costly.
Gierach made the Jaguars pay not once but twice.
She hit both free throws with eight seconds left to tie the game at 45, and then connected on the game-winning free throws with just three seconds left to give the Golden Raiders the two-point lead.
The Jaguars had one final opportunity, but they never got a shot off at half-court.
When the dust had settled, the Golden Raiders had ripped off eight of the last nine points of the game to capture the contest.
The Jaguars fall to 10-6 overall and 8-4 in the FRCC (1 ½ games back of frontrunners Bay Port and Notre Dame).
“We need to have two good practices and be ready to get back after it on Friday on the road vs the Ships,” VanLaanen said. “We can’t make excuses. We have to learn from our mistakes. We are down to the last six games of the regular season, and we need to focus on one at a time.”
Sheboygan North/Ashwaubenon Box Score
Sheboygan North 30,17-47
Golden Raider Totals: FG’s 14-45, 3 PT FG’s 5-20, FT’s 14-14, Rebounds 32, Assists 7, Steals 6, Blocks 0, Turnovers 16, Personal Fouls 14
Gierach 12, Opie 12, Platz 10, Scharinger 6, Schmidt 5, Bell 2
Jaguar Totals: FG’s 16-49, 3 PT FG’s 2-16, FT’s 11-16, Rebounds 28, Assists 9, Steals 9, Blocks 2, Turnovers 12, Personal Fouls 11
Schlader 21, Kupsh 9, VanLaanen 7, Servais 6, Schaible 2