The Brookfield Central High School girls basketball team went to Divine Savior Holy Angels High School as the only team in the Greater Metro Conference that had managed to beat the Dashers this season, and like their first meeting, the Lancers came out with a 5-point win, 63-58.
The Lancers jumped out to an early lead after a 3-pointer from Lydia Rohde and two baskets from Emma Brauer gave them a 7-1 lead midway through the first quarter and they led 12-8 at the end of the quarter.
Regroup and lead
The Dashers found their first lead of the game when Rachel Heinrich scored a 3, giving DSHA a 20-18 lead. She then scored her second in a row on the Dashers' next possession. Central's Caroline Busch sunk a 3 of her own before Ogunbowale scored two points just before the buzzer to send DSHA into halftime with a 25-21 lead.
"I think we regrouped," said DSHA Coach Scott Witt of his team's performance after the first quarter. "Once we were able to play from in front, I think we got in more of a rhythm.
"Rachel Heinrich had a huge night for us; Taylor Drost hit some baskets. We got Sami Leach with some easy ones. We had a lot of contributions from different sources, and I thought we played some of our best basketball of the year."
The second half seemed to start well for the Lancers when Rohde got a steal and two points right from the start, but the Dashers piled on the pressure and built a 40-29 lead on top of two more 3s from Heinrich.
Perseverance until the end
The Lancers never quit, however, and by the end of the third quarter, had pulled to 45-36 when Jasmine Lewis scored a buzzer-beating 3-point bank shot to send the Lancers into the fourth quarter with some needed energy.
"I was just trying to make something happen to give us some momentum going into the quarter," Lewis said. "I knew as a team we never give up. We're always one of those teams that, no matter how far down, we're going to fight back and somehow try to get back into the game."
The Lancers found the lead once more when Lewis scored on a rebound to put her team up 48-47. The Lancers could not hang on to that lead, however, and the Dashers built a 58-51 advantage led by seven points from Ogunbowale.
A long 3 from Rohde ignited the Lancers once again, and after a basket from Nicole Hinz, Rohde was fouled while scoring two points. She sunk her free-throw to complete the 3-point play and the last lead change of the game.
"They stopped doing all the things that built us that lead," Witt said of the loss. "To Brookfield Central's credit, it wasn't just us not making plays. In many situations, even if we didn't make the play, we had a big enough lead to win the game, but they made play after play after play. It's a tough loss, but the kids are resilient, and it's not the end of the season."
A team effort
Central coach Dan Wandrey was happy with the win.
"We were doing a lot of really good things in the beginning and not necessarily shooting the ball very well," Wandrey said. "We were doing everything right and not making baskets. Kind of ironically, I thought in the second half we maybe weren't as crisp and as good, but we started making baskets.
"I'm sure we fatigued a little bit defensively. Alike (Ogunbowale) is incredible. We're a man-to-man team primarily and do some different things. I just don't think you can do it for 32 minutes against her, so we kind of have to dare some other kids to make some shots, and they did.
"We really dug down and got some good stops and a lot of rebounds and made some big baskets. It's an awesome accomplishment to come in here and win; they're a really good team. This is not an easy place to come in and win, so I think it gives us a lot of confidence."
Rohde with 15 points led four Lancers in double figures. Brauer, Busch and Hinz each added 13 points. Ogunbowale had 22, Heinrich 14 and Taylor Drost 13.
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