With one second remaining, Kelsie Peterson made the game changing two-point shot that lifted Grace College 52-51 over the Lady Foresters Jan. 17.
Hoping to pull out its second road win of the week, Huntington (13-5 overall, 4-4 in the Crossroads League) found itself down by eight with 10 minutes remaining in the first half. With the scoreboard sitting at 12-4 Lancer advantage, HU senior Courtney Baker fired up a trey to get the Forester offense rolling. Teammate junior Amelia Recker resounded with a three-pointer of her own.
Recker raced to a team high 20 points and six rebounds with Miranda Palmer adding 10 points of her own.
Hanging tight with the Lancers, Culler’s squad walked into the locker room down by only three points.
“We would have liked to have gotten off to a better start offensively which would have put us in a better position at the half,” Culler said. “We did a lot of things well in the game, we just didn’t shoot the ball well.”
Once again, the Lancers leapt out ahead, slowly reeled back in by the Forester five. Tying the game at 40-40, HU took a five-point lead thanks to a two-pointer by Recker with five minutes remaining. The game saw its sixth tie with one minute left as Recker gave her team a one-up advantage thanks to two completed shots at the charity stripe.
The play of the day was made when Peterson banked a two-pointer to finalize her team’s victory.
Recker believes that learning from the tough loss is critical in order to be able to get back on a winning streak.
“The league that we are in is very competitive, so we need to learn from our game on Saturday and then be able to refocus our minds on the next opponent because there are no nights that we can slack off,” Recker said. “We will come back from the tough loss and work hard to improve and hopefully start getting back onto a winning streak.”
Culler said her team “never quits.”
“It’s great to see them fight until the end no matter what the outcome is,” she said.
Although, HU now sits in sixth in the Crossroads League, the team is two CL wins away from the second standing. Should the team upset second-ranked St. Francis at home Jan. 21, it would be well on its way to regaining its standing. This would not be a feat to be taken lightly as the Cougars are the reigning NAIA Division II national champions who boasted an undefeated (38-0, 18-0) record last season. They were heralded as the regular season champions as well as being lauded as the tournament champions.
“We just need to continue to take one game at a time and try to prepare as best we can to give ourselves a chance to win each time out,” Culler said. “There are still a lot of games yet to play and in this league anything can happen.”