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Lady Jeeps’ 4th-quarter blast downs SC

Lady Jeeps’ 4th-quarter blast downs SC
Lady Jeeps’ 4th-quarter blast downs SC
The final shot of Samantha Troutman's career came on this three-point attempt over N.E. Dubois' Codi Bauer late in the fourth quarter of Saturday's semifinal round of the Class 1A Southwestern Regional. (Photo by Alan Stewart)

If a basketball game were 24 minutes long, South Central’s girls basketball team would be advancing to their second semistate in three years.
Unfortunately for the Lady Rebels, the eight additional minutes in Saturday’s opening round of the Class 1A Regional at Southwestern (Shelby) were the team’s downfall.
Five Northeast Dubois players filled the scorebook over that stretch, outscoring South, 18-4, to erase a nine-point deficit heading into the period.
The Lady Jeeps posted a 48-43 victory despite trailing the first 30 minutes of the game. They went on to win the regional championship that evening, beating Hauser, 42-34.
‘They made some nice adjustments against us. In the first half we hit some big shots, and then in the third quarter we did. In the fourth quarter, we wanted to run stuff inside, and they extended out on us and we should have been able to attack that,’ South Central coach Randall Schoen said.
‘Part of that is my fault, and I’ll take the blame for it. No matter if we attacked it or not, we had a 10-point lead, and you shouldn’t let that get away from you no matter what kind of defense the other team is playing.’
South started the game red-hot and led 9-0 with 3:34 left in the opening period on baskets by Samantha Troutman, Megan Zumar and Brittany Schoen.
Dubois had a 6-0 spurt, but a bankshot inside by Sarah Yelch kept the Lady Rebels on top at the first stop, 13-6.
South extended the lead by two at the half, 25-16, thanks to a three-point barrage by Troutman, Jenna Kingsley and Sarah Pease.
To that point, the Lady Rebels had done a yeoman’s job on the Lady Jeeps star senior, 5-10 forward Leigh-Ann Kluesner.
Kluesner had scored just five points thanks to Pease’s defense.
‘We saw them on film, and we felt like with Sarah’s size and strength, she could handle her out top and in the post. (Kluesner) seemed to handle the ball a lot, and we thought that was probably the best matchup we could come up with.’
Kluesner was more active in the second half and set the tone for the rest of the game as she poured in eight of her game-high 19 points in the third period.
South kept the lead on threes by Schoen and Troutman, as South’s lone senior buried one from downtown with four seconds remaining in the third to hold a nine-point edge, 39-30.
That’s when South’s game suddenly went south.
Over the final eight minutes, N.E. Dubois outscored the Lady Rebels 18-4, outrebounded them 10-3, and forced six turnovers.
‘I just don’t really know what happened. We set up our offense and had some good looks in the lane, and nothing seemed to fall for us,’ Schoen said. ‘We had some poor shot selection at times, and I think maybe we just went with what got us here and that was three-point shooting.
‘Defensively, we stressed that we had to help out with Kluesner in the low post, but we also had to help with the weak side. We accomplished one of those, but no one was there for the help, and they got some wide-open lay-ups against us. We just over-helped.’
Kluesner started the fourth quarter with a three from the baseline that somehow banked home. That was followed by a deuce by Codi Bauer and a triple by Allison Matheis.
Schoen wiggled through the Lady Jeeps’ defense to keep a three-point advantage, but back-to-back buckets by Lauren Stemle gave Dubois a 42-41 lead.
Schoen scored the final field goal for the Lady Rebels at the 1:33 mark. From there, Dubois did its damage at the foul stripe, hitting six of eight tries to pull away.
South was 15 of 41 from the field and 8 of 28 on three-pointers. The Lady Rebels hit all five tries from the foul stripe, but all those attempts came in the first half.
The Lady Jeeps went 17 of 47 from the floor, 2 of 6 on threes, and sank 13 of 15 charity tosses.
‘I thought the foul shots was a key. They got to the line a lot more than we did. There were some bumps that weren’t called, but I wouldn’t say that’s why we lost,’ Coach Schoen said. ‘We just didn’t do the right things down the stretch to close it out. I really think part of that was my fault for not recognizing what was happening.’
Schoen led the Lady Rebels with 16 points. Troutman, held scoreless in the fourth quarter, capped her career with 15 points, including four threes. Zumar scored four points, Kingsley and Pease had three, and Yelch two.
‘We’ll really miss Samantha last year. She was part of a great run for the program. But I really think that with what we have coming back, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be here again next year,’ Schoen said. ‘We’ll have to remember what this feels like and try to not let it happen again.’
Tia Wineinger added 13 points for the Lady Jeeps.