Tigers suffer tough loss in sectional semis

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff


KAITLYNN NEAR (30) and Howards Grove teammate Brittany Schaller attempt to trap Kaitie Van Scyoc of Oshkosh Lourdes in Thursday’s sectional basketball semifinals. The Tigers’ Ashley Reinemann (2) and Samy Yancy look on. – Photo by Terry Schaller KAITLYNN NEAR (30) and Howards Grove teammate Brittany Schaller attempt to trap Kaitie Van Scyoc of Oshkosh Lourdes in Thursday’s sectional basketball semifinals. The Tigers’ Ashley Reinemann (2) and Samy Yancy look on. – Photo by Terry Schaller WEST BEND – The Howards Grove Tigers and Oshkosh Lourdes Academy waged a battle for the ages Thursday night in the Division 4 girls sectional basketball semifinals.

Lourdes pulled out a thrilling 60-58 win in double-overtime when Katie Van Scyoc hit two free throws with only 1.4 seconds left.

It was a very heartbreaking loss for the Tigers who led most of regulation and were up 30-19 at halftime. The Knights rallied to force overtime, taking advantage of numerous HGHS turnovers.

Van Scyoc’s free throws came after she was fouled on a desperation three-point shot after she rebounded a missed foul shot and dribbled very quickly up the court. It was a hurried, off-balanced shot over 30 feet away. She was awarded three free throws and made the first two which gave the Knights a 60-58 lead.

HGHS rebounded the missed free throw and called a timeout with 1.0 seconds remaining. Brittany Schaller inbounded the ball from deep in her backcourt to Sam Yancy who passed to Olivia Stauss near midcourt. The final buzzer sounded before Stauss attempted a shot which bounced off the rim.

Yancy tied the game, 58-58, after sinking the first of two foul shots with 6.2 seconds left. Van Scyoc rebounded the miss which eventually led to her three-point shot.

“I thought we played our hearts out. We left everything we had on the court,” said Tiger head coach Heidi Georgeff.

“It was sad for it to end the way it did but we had our opportunities all game and we didn’t capitalize on enough of them,” she said.


SAM YANCY, Howards Grove forward, drives to the basket into the heart of the Oshkosh Lourdes defense during Thursday’s sectional basketball game. The Knights’ defenders are Katie Van Scyoc (30), Quinn Godfroy (1) and Ellie DeGroot (left). – Photo by Terry Schaller SAM YANCY, Howards Grove forward, drives to the basket into the heart of the Oshkosh Lourdes defense during Thursday’s sectional basketball game. The Knights’ defenders are Katie Van Scyoc (30), Quinn Godfroy (1) and Ellie DeGroot (left). – Photo by Terry Schaller The Tigers’ defense and rebounding were outstanding but HGHS committed a season-high 30 turnovers, including many which were unforced.

“It definitely was a battle. I thought both teams just refused to give up and that is why it took two overtimes to decide it,” said Lourdes head coach Reed Tyriver.

“I thought Howards Grove played an outstanding first half and really outplayed us in all aspects of the game. We did not have a particularly good shooting night, so we had to find another way to get back into the game.

“I thought both teams showed toughness and battled throughout, and luckily we were able to come out on top,” said Tyriver.

The Knights, ranked No. 4 in the Associated Press D-4 poll, lost in the finals Saturday to No. 2-ranked Kenosha St. Joseph, 58-55, which decided a state berth. Lourdes finished 23-3 and HGHS ended its season at 21-4.

“I really hate to see the game be decided by a questionable call from an official. No, in all honestly, I don’t think it was the right call. But, like I said, we had our opportunities and we didn’t take advantage when we needed to,” said Georgeff.

“As close as the game was, we didn’t play our best game of the season. The first half was great, the second half we had too many mental mistakes. That being said, we left it all on the floor and there is no looking back.”

The Tigers held Lourdes to only 47 points in regulation – 25 under the Knights’ season average. Lourdes shot only 28 percent (18 of 65) from the field but had 24 more attempts than HGHS (16 of 41, 39 percent).

“I think they [Tigers] are one of the best, if not the best team we played all year. They were just really good in all areas of the game. They played great defense, were patient on offense, and really rebounded well,” said Tyriver.

The Tigers had a strong first half, keyed by a 10-0 run which gave them their 30-19 halftime lead. Ashley Reinemann’s four points, all free throws, led the spurt. HGHS held the Knights scoreless the final 3:00 of the half.

Junior forward Sam Yancy scored 12 of her team-high 15 points in the first half to spark the Tigers’ offense. Addi Gerber contributed seven points in the opening half, including two treys.

The Tigers’ combination of zone and man-to-man defenses did a good job of sealing off the inside which forced Lourdes to rely on perimeter shots a lot in the first half and the Knights were cold from that range. HGHS gave Lourdes only one shot on most possessions in the half.

“There were two main things we needed to improve upon to get back in the game. First, we needed to stop settling for outside shots. Second, we needed to hit the boards,” said the Lourdes coach.

“They killed us on the boards in the first half and I told the girls there was no way we could get back in the game if we kept giving up second chance points. The girls responded and I couldn’t be happier for them. They went out and won the game.”

The Tigers had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation. With the game tied, 47-all, Tiger point guard Brittany Schaller missed a runner in the lane and the ball went out of bounds with HGHS retaining possession.

Before the Tigers could inbound the ball under their own basket, a HGHS player was called for a questionable offensive foul which gave the ball to Lourdes. The game stayed tied at 47-47 heading into the first overtime.

Again, HGHS missed an opportunity to win the contest. After Van Scyoc made two free throws to knot the game, 51-51, the Tigers called a timeout with 34 seconds remaining. They worked the ball for the last shot but Kaitlyn Near missed an open shot from the right wing as time expired, forcing a second overtime.

Van Scyoc led all scorers with 24 points – 21 in the second half and overtime sessions combined.

Schaller paced HGHS in assists with four and shared the rebounding lead with Yancy and Gerber at 10 each. Yancy had an excellent five offensive boards to go with two blocked shots.

“We had 37 rebounds which is great. That was one of our game goals,” said the Tiger coach.

“We always talk about winning the 50/50 balls and I thought we did everything we could to get on top of those loose balls.

“Individually, I thought Brittany Schaller really stood out as a great floor leader and point guard. She showed a ton of poise in crunch time. Sam Yancy and Addi Gerber both had nice offensive games while hauling in 10 rebounds each.

“Kaitlynn Near guarded Van Scyoc for most of the game and did an outstanding job, defensively,” said Georgeff.


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