WACO girls’ b-ball team falls just short in SEISC shootout game
BY ANDY KRUTSINGER
Mt. Pleasant News
NEW LONDON — Kristen Conley sprung open at the wing for the game-winning three-point attempt at the end of WACO’s shootout game on Saturday night but the shot rolled just out and Louisa-Muscatine escaped with a 45-43 win.
The Warriors and Falcons played one of the best shootout games of the night and WACO had its share of big plays down the stretch, but the Warriors just couldn’t finish it off late.
WACO led, 11-8, after the first period but L&M scrapped back in the second quarter to take a 21-18 lead at the break. Kiana Miller led the way for the Warriors with nine points at halftime.
The Warriors battled back and the game was still up in the air in the final minute, with L&M leading 41-39.
Halle Kissell got inside and earned a foul call with time ticking down. She hit two free throws and the game was tied at 41-41.
After a failed possession by the Falcons, Conley put the Warriors up two points late. WACO broke an aggressive full court press and Conley was able to run down and hit an open layup in the final minute to put the Warriors up, 43-41.
The Falcons answered back with four-straight points of their own, however. After an L&M player hit the first of two free throws, she missed the second but WACO couldn’t secure the rebound. The Falcons scrambled and hit a three-pointer to take a 45-43 lead and WACO’s back was against the wall.
The Warriors did get a fantastic look to win the game, however. With less than five seconds left, Conley got open at the wing and set her feet for a good attempt that went just a hair long, and the rebound deflected out of bounds as the buzzer sounded.
“We just didn’t get the job done,” said WACO coach Shannon Rugg after the loss. “We excecuted at the end and had a shot to win it. It just went down and came back out.”
Miller finished with 14 points to lead the Warriors. Kissell and Conley ended with 10 apiece to give WACO three double-digit scorers. Clara Schmitz scored five points in the loss and Kasey Sutton had four.
WACO fell to 6-15 overall this season and will now turn their focus to their regional first round game at Winfield-Mt. Union on Thursday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m.
“It’s going to be a close game down there,” says Rugg about the W-MU game. “Mitch (Wachs) does a good job. We’re going to have our hands full, but hopefully he’s going to have his hands full too.”