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R-W beats RHS girls in overtime

By Staff | Feb 14, 2014

Lori Gronvold/PCT Rugby High School junior forward Jacie Lovcik (32) defends Westhope-Newburg junior Lauren Mach on Feb. 7 at Charles Hanneman Gymnasium.

Rolette-Wolford junior guard Delaney Selvig hadn’t hit a shot since the first quarter. That first 3-pointer was followed by four misses from long-range until Selvig found her touch with just 48 seconds remaining in regulation of a non-district game against Rugby on Feb. 8.

The Panthers (8-9) took a six-point lead on junior Darby Deckert’s free throw with 57 seconds left. Selvig then drilled a pair of triples to force overtime as R-W went on to beat RHS 54-53 through the extra time at Charles Hanneman Gymnasium.

“Our coach told us that we had to run this play called slide and she told me to hit ’em if I was open, so I just took the shots,” Selvig said.

The late-game instructions from R-W coach Jill Murtaugh led to the Rugby native’s first win over the Panthers.

“There’s probably times that I wanted it a little more than the girls,” Murtaugh said, “but I give credit to our girls. They gutted it out, they showed that even if we’re down. They put in a team effort tonight and kept going and going and going. We easily could’ve folded at half, but they worked as a team and they got it done.”?Both teams played strong defense through the first three quarters and R-W led 28-24. RHS doubled that output in the fourth quarter alone as shots started to fall. Three different Panthers hit 3-pointers in the fourth and junior guard McKenzie Johnson scored all nine of her points in the frame.

“We just had to drive and take open shots and it’s always a rivalry playing versus my cousin (Alyssa Graber),” Johnson said. “We just started making our shots and altogether we just played a lot better in the fourth quarter than we did in the third quarter.”

RHS scored just one point in the third quarter after taking an eight-point lead at the half. R-W sophomore forward Lexy Wittmayer led the comeback for the Comets (11-4) with eight of her game-high 20 points in the third.

The Panthers made two turnovers in the final minute of regulation, but had a chance to win at the buzzer. RHS sophomore Shea Heidlebaugh had a good look on a short shot after a timeout was called with 12 second left. Heidlebaugh got the rebound, but missed the putback as time expired.

Graber converted a one-and-one bonus opportunity with 13 seconds remaining in overtime to give R-W a 54-50 lead. RHS senior Allison Volk banked in a 3-pointer – her third of the game – with one second remaining.

“That was just a fun game of basketball to sit back and watch,” RHS coach Jen Brossart said. “Coaching’s out the door at this point. Be a spectator and watch it for awhile. That’s the way I know our girls are capable of playing and aside from two silly mistakes there at the end on our turnovers, that’s a game that could’ve been won in regulation.”

Panthers fall at Velva

RHS fell in another close game on Tuesday as host Velva held off the Panthers for a 45-40 win.

Sarah Wherley led the Aggies with 15 points and Cassidy Peterson scored 14. RHS had balanced scoring with its top three as junior Darby Deckert led with 10, and sophomore Shea Heidlebaugh and junior McKenzie Johnson scored nine each.

Velva is tied with TGU to lead the District 11 standings at 6-1. Rugby is fourth with a 5-2 record.

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