When a team is outscored, 11-3, in the third quarter, one wouldn't think the only basket the other team scored in the quarter was the turning point of the game.
Friday night at Brookfield Central, the Lancers had rallied to within 30-28, when Sussex Hamilton got three offensive rebounds and Taylor Klug nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer for a 33-28 lead going into the final quarter.
"I told our kids after the game, I thought that was the play of the game," said a disgusted Central coach Dan Wandrey. "The big turning point. From a quarter that we got all those hustle points and got back into the game, it was the hustle, the deflections, the loose balls.
"And they get three offensive rebounds and make one at the buzzer. So that was tough. Even in the fourth. We make a shot, they make a big shot"
The Chargers outscored Central, 15-13, in the final quarter, as sophomore post Molly Diehl stepped up with eight points, six coming from the free throw line.
"I tried to tune everyone out," Diehl said. "Everyone was kind of screaming and I just looked at the basket. That’s all I thought about.
"(Games like this) they’re really fun, really intense. I get really into them. That makes it so much better to win. Especially this game, and we came through."
Two free throws by Nicole Hinz cut the lead to 33-30, but then Hannah Menzia, who scored 17 of her 19 points in the first half, drove to the lane and scored for a 35-30 lead.
After Diehl missed two free throws, she came back and nailed two, then Central's Lydia Rohde hit a 3-pointer and Klug scored on a drive to make it 39-33. Rohde put in a rebound shot, but Klug nailed a long 3 for a 42-35 lead with 2:58 left to play.
Rohde then hit two free throws, but Diehl hit a short jumper, and Jasmine Lewis hit two free throws to cut the lead to 44-39 with 1:01 to play.
But Diehl hit two free throws, Rohde scored off a steal and Diehl closed it out with two more free throws in the final seconds.
"I was very proud of them," Chargers coach Bill scasny said. "Taylor hit that big three at the buzzer, and that kept the momentum going in the fourth quarter.
"They have been very resilient. They are learning how to win and fight through adversity. It’s good to see and they got better as the season went on, and that’s what you want to see."
Hamilton led 14-13 after one quarter as Menzia had 8 points and Klug 5, and then Menzia scored 9 points in the second quarter as the Chargers pressured the Lancers to win the quarter, 16-4, and take a 30-17 lead into halftime.
"That is the system we put in now," Scasny said of the pressure defense. "We’re a pressing team, and the kids have gotten better now as the year has gone on. We want to take teams out of their comfort zone.
"There aren’t too many teams in our conference that press. So it's to our advantage to do it. We’re a small team, so we can’t let teams set up and pound on us."
The Lancers came out in the second half and went on an 11-0 run with Rohde on the bench in foul trouble for most of the run. She started it with a drive to the basket, then Lewis took it to the hoop and then Abby Miller put in a rebound.
The constantly-improving Emma Brauer then put in a rebound basket and nailed a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 30-28 with a 1:44 left in the quarter. The Lancers did all this well holding the Chargers scoreless, before Klug's big shot at the buzzer.
Menzia had 19, Klug 14 and Diehl 10, while Rohde had 17 and Brauer 10.
"I was proud of the kids, we could have folded it up at half," Wandrey said. "We came back and fought and came back and got in a position to win the game. But we didn’t make some plays and they made some plays."
The Chargers are now 6-1, one half game behind DSHA (7-1), while BC feel to 5-2.
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