On Thursday, the Lady Comets, led by junior guard Alli Robertson, who finished with 16 points, 16 rebounds, nine assists, a steal, and three blocks, defeated Owensville 54-46 at Blair Oaks in the …
On Thursday, the Lady Comets, led by junior guard Alli Robertson, who finished with 16 points, 16 rebounds, nine assists, a steal, and three blocks, defeated Owensville 54-46 at Blair Oaks in the Class 4, District 10 tournament semifinals.
“This was more nerve-wracking than most, but definitely a good high school basketball game,” said Coach Matt Baker. “They’re really damn good. They beat us by double digits at our place, so we knew it would be tough coming in. We switched up our defense completely tonight. We never play man (defense), but that might have bought us a few possessions here.”
As for Robertson’s performance, Baker said, “I don’t think Alli gets enough credit for who we are and what we do. There’s a bunch of kids that score 10 to 12 points a game, and if she wanted to, or we wanted to, we could probably force it and get her as many points as she could muster. We run everything through her, and she shares the ball so selflessly, and you couldn’t blame her if she didn’t. But she does, and it makes us go.”
Junior guard Kaitlyn Plassmeyer (KP) started the game hot, nailing a three-pointer and then a four-point play to account for Fatima’s first seven points, and finished with nine to go with six rebounds, two assists, and a steal.
“She really got us off to a great start,” said Baker.
Fatima led 7-5 at that point, and junior guard Lucy Crede added a trey a bit later. With a 16-10 lead, Baker called a timeout with 1:35 to play in the first.
After a nice cutter by senior guard Ellie Brune for two, senior guard Emma Bower drained a trey, and Fatima led 21-10 at the end of the first quarter. Brune posted three points, two rebounds, and an assist.
The Dutchgirls went on a 9-2 run in the second to make it a 23-19 game.
After Owensville claimed a 24-23 lead, Bower nailed the second of four treys on the night — at the buzzer — to give Fatima a 26-24 lead at the break. She finished with 14 points and a rebound.
Just over halfway through the third, Fatima led 35-32 in a great district matchup. The Dutchgirls then scored five unanswered points to force a Fatima timeout with 1:32 remaining in the frame.
Robertson was feeling it, though. She hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to cut Owensville’s lead to 39-38 to start the fourth.
After an Owensville three-pointer opened the fourth, Robertson hit a bucket and the foul to make the score 42-41.
As the quarter wore on, Robertson began to dominate inside. She scored two straight buckets, and Fatima led 45-44.
Back-to-back threes by Bower lifted the Lady Comets to a 53-44 advantage with 1:18 to play, leading Owensville to take a timeout.
Sophomore point guard Vivian Bax overcame first-half issues to provide good leadership as point guard in the late-going. “She’s been battling an ankle injury, and she struggled in the first half,” said Baker. “But she came out in the second half with a bucket and had a three-pointer. I’m really proud of her. Vivian took on two really dang good guards and locked them down.”
Bax finished with five points, two rebounds, and two assists.
Fatima and Owensville traded free throws, and the Lady Comets held on for the eight-point win.
“We had a couple of clean drives, and then we kind of got out of sync and dribbled the ball too much,” said Baker. “A lot of that is Owensville playing great defense. We got impatient and made some bad choices. We opened the door, and they made some shots and got right back in the game. But we quit turning the ball over in the fourth quarter, and that was the difference.”
Junior guard Lucy Crede posted seven points, including a three-pointer, with two rebounds and an assist. “Lucy is special for us,” said Baker. “The girls love her, and we’re playing well when she plays like that. She rebounded her butt off and played great defensively. That was huge.”
Fatima opened the tournament against Versailles, and what began as a back-and-forth battle — with the Lady Comets holding a 9-8 lead after the first quarter — turned into a 50-23 rout with a running clock in the fourth.
“Overall, the girls did a great job on the defensive end of the floor,” said Baker, as the Lady Comets forced Versailles into 30 turnovers and held them to 10 points in the final three quarters.
Baker noted that Versailles’ post player was a concern going into that game for several reasons. She has almost 100 blocks on the year, and she changes the game with her size and ability to eliminate good looks around the rim.
“That said, we managed to get a number of good looks out of our sets to start the game, but we just couldn’t finish,” Baker said as the team missed several layups in the first quarter. “I honestly think most of that can be attributed to some nerves. However, after the opening quarter, we settled in, started making shots, and pulled away down the stretch. We hope getting another game on that floor and in that gym helps our shooters find their rhythm. For whatever reason, we have had our struggles shooting in that new gym over the past two years, so I think getting that extra game was certainly a benefit for our shooters.”
Overall, the kids shared the ball well. Robertson and Bax each scored 10, KP and Bower posted eight points apiece, followed by Brune (5), Alex Berhorst (3), Claire Bexten, Kristen Robertson, Crede, and Madelyn Backes (2 each), and Lydia Brunnert (1). “This was an unselfish effort for our girls overall on the offensive end of the floor,” said Baker.
Fatima covered 9-24 from three-point range and shot 33.3% from the floor, with a 4-8 mark at the FT line.
On the glass, Brunnert led with six rebounds, followed by the Robertson sisters, Bower and KP with four apiece, Brune, Berhorst, and Bax (2 each), and Crede, Backes, and Payton Wieberg (1 apiece).
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