By Steve Raymond
News Report Staff
It didn’t look organized.
Players look confused.
And the clock was ticking.
But the result was perfect.
Raegan Drees broke open for a layup at the buzzer Thursday night, giving the Teutopolis Lady Shoes a 55-53 victory at home over Pana.
“The play was drawn up right. It just looked awkward,” admitted THS coach Laurie Thompson after the game. “Some of the girls broke too early and our timing was off at every position. But it worked.”
The score was knotted at 53-53 with just 22 seconds to play when Thompson called a timeout to set up the final play.
When the clock reached the five-second mark, things weren’t looking good. The ball wasn’t far from the midcourt line and there wasn’t much movement on offense.
But then Drees quickly curled off a screen and headed toward the basket. The Pana defender didn’t follow, leaving Drees wide open. Jamie Sandschafer delivered the perfect pass and Drees’ point-blank shot kissed off the backboard and dropped through the net as the final horn sounded.
Despite the mini-celebration that followed, Coach Thompson was not pleased with her team’s performance.
“Pana outplayed us. They should have won this game,” she noted. “We’re making silly mistakes and our defense is atrocious. Unless we start doing things better, it could be a long season. We just got lucky tonight.”
The game was close from the opening tip. It was tied 10 times and there were six lead changes. Neither team led by more than five points throughout.
Both teams started the game shooting well and turning the ball over.
Pana hit 9-of-10 shots in the opening period, but were guilty of eight turnovers, many of them unforced. The Lady Shoes connected on 7-of-14 shots and turned the ball over five times. After eight minutes, the Lady Panthers held a slim 21-19 edge.
Pana got three-point shots from Jenna Dudra and Sydney Maton to build a five-point lead, 31-26, midway through the second period. T-Town’s Shelby Thompson hit a pair of threes of her own and Macy Michels hit a short jumper with only two seconds to go to get the Lady Shoes within 37-35 at halftime.
“I had to slow things down at halftime,” Thompson said. “We just weren’t guarding anybody and they were knocking down their shots. We were lucky they had so many turnovers. It wasn’t because of our defense. They just kept moving their pivot foot and got called for traveling.”
Even though the scoring slowed down, the second half was a carbon copy of the first 16 minutes. The game remained tight. Back-to-back baskets by Sadie Bueker and Michels put THS on top, 45-41. But Pana got two scores in the final minute to make it 45-45 heading into the final period.
Pana missed its first four shots and T-Town only hit two in the first four minutes. But those baskets – by Thompson and Jolene Bueker – put the Lady Shoes on top, 49-45.
Another three-pointer by Thompson and a free throw by Sadie Bueker gave Teutopolis its largest lead of the contest, 53-48, with 1:41 to play.
But Daylee Denton grabbed an offensive rebound and scored, then converted a THS turnover into another basket and Shania Schnoonover hit a free throw with 28 seconds left to tie the game and set up the last-second heroics.
Thompson led the Lady Shoes with 13 points and Michels added 10 off the bench. Thompson and Michels also led the team with five rebounds.
T-Town shot well, hitting 21-of-41 attempts for a 51 percent clip. They were 3-for-5 from behind the arc and knocked down 10-of-13 free throws. The Lady Shoes had 16 turnovers; Pana finished with 23.
“At times, our high-low offense looked good,” Coach Thompson said. “But then we started forcing things. If we had just reversed the basketball, we probably would have had several layups. We’re just trying to do too much, too quickly. When we did work it, we got some easy baskets.
“The girls don’t totally understand what is a good shot and what is a bad shot yet,” the coach added. “We need to figure that out and make better decisions.”
Lady Shoes beat Salem
Teutopolis outscored Salem 30-19 in the second half Monday night to pull away and post a 57-41 road victory.
The Lady Shoes led throughout. They were on top 13-9 after eight minutes and 27-22 at halftime.
Jamie Sandschafer led the scoring attack. She was 7-for-10 from the field and totaled 17 points. Macy Michels also reached double figures with 12. Shelby Thompson had five rebounds, while Sadie Thompson had five rebounds and three steals.
T-Town improved to 8-2 on the season. The Lady Shoes will return to action Monday with a game at St. Anthony.