Wildcats snare last ditch win against Blazers
Girls up season record to 6-2
Lisa Lambert's game-winning shot with six seconds left in the game Tuesday was the epitome of De Soto girls basketball this season.
Sporting a never-quit and worker-like attitude, the Wildcats have darted out to a 6-2 mark for the season.
Lambert, who scored four points in the 31-29 win in a non-league game against 5A Gardner-Edgerton, never gave up when Katie Davis' shot rolled off the rim. Her offensive rebound and putback gave the Wildcats a slim 31-29 lead.
Following a time out, with 4.5 seconds remaining, Jessica Stewart's little jumper at the buzzer fell harmlessly off the rim for the Trail Blazers, securing the two point road win for De Soto.
"She was able to get the offensive rebound because she never quit," coach Dwight Spencer said after the game. "None of the players did. Her rebound and shot were just a sign of that. She did not feel well either. That makes the effort she made at the end of the game even more spectacular."
The Wildcats struggled offensively the entire game and had to play from behind most of the first three periods. In fact, De Soto trailed from the 4:11 mark in the opening period until Laurie Wilson's two free throws gave the Wildcats a 21-20 advantage with 2:28 left in the third period.
"You have to give them (Gardner-Edgerton) credit," Spencer said. "They mixed it up defensively by applying an aggressive zone, and gave us fits with their press."
But Spencer wasn't willing to give them all of the credit. "We also had shots we couldn't get to fall," he continued. "If some of those shots go in maybe we get ahead a little."
Following Allie Heinen's layup 10 seconds into the game off a Katie Davis assist, the Blazers tied the game and took a lead they wouldn't relinquish until late in the third period.
During that time Gardner-Edgerton built its lead to as many as five points three times. The last came when Erin Johnson hit a short jumper, giving her team a 19-14 advantage with 5:57 left in the third period.
Heinen connected on three-of-four free throws, and Julie Beck dribbled the length of the floor and ripped the cords with a short pull up jumper, getting the Wildcats back to 20-19 before Wilson connected on her free throws.
The Wildcats never trailed from then on but had to weather five ties the remainder of the game.
The Blazers took an 8-6 advantage at the end of the opening period and boosted it to 15-12 at halftime. The score was tied at 21-21 going into the final eight minutes of the game.
Heinen struggled to get her game going offensively in the first half, finishing the first 16 minutes with six points and 10 of her game-high 13 rebounds.
De Soto was good on just nine-of-37 (24.3 percent) attempts from the floor and made 13-of-17 (76.5 percent) free throws. The Trail Blazers didn't fare much better from the floor by connecting on just 11-of-44 (25 percent) shots. Gardner-Edgerton made seven-of-15 (46.7 percent) free throws on the night.
The Blazers, who started three players that stood 5-feet-3 inches, out rebounded a taller De Soto lineup by a 36-31 margin. The Wildcats turned the ball over 17 times, compared to just 14 for Gardner-Edgerton.
De Soto, 6-2, travels to Piper for a 7:30 p.m. game Thursday and participates in the Louisburg tournament next week. It is not known yet who and when the Wildcats will play.