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Red-hot Sacred Heart tops Green Ridge for 6th-straight win

February 13, 2013
Green Ridge High School


In a game that had seven ties and 17 lead changes, the Sacred Heart Gremlins pulled out a 52-47 win in Kaysinger Conference girls basketball on Tuesday at Sacred Heart School.

“These games are a lot of fun,” said Sacred Heart center Sydney Smith.

The Lady Tigers trailed 46-45 with less than a minute left when the Gremlins’ Kaitlyn Sunnarborg forced a tie-up that gave Sacred Heart possession.

“And Mary (Fischer) got a tie-up the possession before around the two-minute mark,” said Sacred Heart coach Shawn Bestgen. “They keep finding a way to get that stop and what I like about it is it’s not something I had to tell them. They’re saying, ‘Well, that girl did this the play before; I’m not going to let her do it again.’ ”

After Honor Kehde hit a pair of free throws for a 50-47 Sacred Heart lead, Green Ridge missed a 3-pointer, but Clare Chamberlin hit the putback to cut the lead to one. Gabbi Ebers then hit two free throws and Green Ridge could not get another shot off.

“We’ve always rallied back and played in close games late so we’re accustomed to those situations,” Bestgen said. “We’re getting used to each other and that’s what’s starting to win the close games.”

Smith had 16 points in the game, often using ball fakes.

“I tried to fake to the middle but they were giving me the middle,” she said. “I need to read their feet more instead of just going to the baseline.”

Though Sacred Heart won the previous meeting in the Kaysinger Conference Tournament, Green Ridge coach Donnie Mayes wanted his team focused on how close a game it could be.

“We focused on the idea that it’s really anybody’s game and not letting the previous game dictate this one,” Mayes said. “We came out a lot more loose this time and they competed really hard. I think they bought in for the fact that they did not want to lay down for a team.”

Chamberlin finished with 20 points and kept many plays alive by diving for loose balls.

“We’ve come to expect that sort of play from her,” Mayes said. “It seems like in big-game situations, she steps up.”

Libby Dove added 13 points for the Lady Tigers.

Ebers had 17 points for Sacred Heart, scoring 11 in the first half.

Neither team led by more than five in the game. That lead by Green Ridge came in the third quarter when Chamberlin and Hali Niceswander hit back-to-back shots — Niceswander’s a 3-pointer — to break a 28-all tie.

Sacred Heart scored the next six points thanks in part to a 3-point play by Smith.

Green Ridge’s previous biggest lead came at the end of an 11-4 run after Sacred Heart had taken a 12-9 lead late in the first.

After Ragin Dillon hit a basket inside to end the first quarter, Chamberlin scored the Lady Tigers’ first six points of the second. Dillon added a 3-pointer to make it 20-16.

Sacred Heart rallied back to tie it at 20 before Samantha Unkel and Ebers traded shots to close the half. The Gremlins led 24-23.

A Dove free throw tied it to open the third and Chamberlin put Green Ridge ahead with a layup, but Sunnarborg answered with a 3-pointer to make it 27-26 Sacred Heart.

Green Ridge (15-9, 5-4 Kaysinger) will host Santa Fe at 5 p.m. Thursday.

Sacred Heart (10-14, 4-5) will host Kingsville at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

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