Republished from the Jefferson City News Tribune
The good news for the Blair Oaks girls basketball team? Everything clicked into place Saturday against Hermann in the Capital City Shootout.
The bad news? It clicked a little too late.
The Lady Falcons forged a comeback by going on a 11-0 fourth-quarter run and holding the Lady Bearcats without a field goal for the game’s final 3:40. But the closest Blair Oaks could get was within five before the buzzer sounded on its 61-54 loss at Fleming Fieldhouse in Jefferson City.
“We just ran out of gas, I guess, or ran out of clock,” Blair Oaks coach Kevin Kohler said. “Vince Lombardi one time said, ‘We didn’t lose, we just ran out of time.’”
The Lady Falcons trailed by as many as 21 points in the game after a Hermann 3-pointer with less than two minutes to play in the third quarter. But with a solid full-court pressure and a offense finding its groove, Blair Oaks outscored the Lady Bearcats 20-9 in the final period.
“We played hard,” Kohler said. “We’ve just got to figure out a way to play hard for four quarters.”
The Lady Falcons allowed 11 field goals in the first quarter and made just three in the second to enter halftime down 36-22.
Freshman Brooke Boessen kept the Lady Falcons hanging around, putting up eight points in the first quarter and 10 in the half. She finished with a team-high 18 in her first start.
“She’s starting to come around,” Kohler said. “She’s very athletic, and she’s a centerfielder in softball, a good hitter, a good fielder — I mean she’s just a good player, a good athlete.
“She didn’t feel well tonight, she said, but she played pretty well.”
Boessen, whose 11-point performance Thursday at St. Elizabeth helped earn her a start, pulled in eight rebounds to lead the Lady Falcons.
She was only outdone in the first half by Hermann’s Allison Stiers, also a freshman, who entered halftime with 17 points.
“We just couldn’t handle her in the first half,” Kohler said. “Sometimes kids just aren’t ready for that kind of quickness, but in the second half things slowed down for her when we started putting additional pressure. I don’t know what happened, but it seemed to work for us.”
Stiers was held to seven points on 1-of-5 shooting in the second half and finished with a game-high 22 points.
The Lady Bearcats’ lead was as large as 16 points with less than four minutes to go in the game. That’s when the surge began for Blair Oaks.
Boessen kicked it off with two free throw, then Kellie Fredendall, who finished with 11 points, put in a putback shot to cut the lead to 59-47. Boessen scored off her own rebound to get within 10 before Macyn Wilbers, who finished with 10 points, sunk two free throws, and Boessen sunk two more. Sydney Wilde, the fourth Blair Oaks player in double digits, made one free throw for her 10th and final point, cutting the lead to 59-54.
Even with Hermann hitting two free throws with :1.5 left to secure the final score, Blair Oaks shot 10 more free throws — and made nine more — than Hermann.
Blair Oaks (3-5) hosts Eugene on Tuesday.