Central girls make a run at Plum City
St. Croix Central's girls did their best to hang on.
The Panthers led at Plum City for nearly the entire 32 minutes of regulation last Thursday. Then Plum City hit a three-pointer with 13 seconds left on the clock, tying the game and sending it to overtime. The teams traded hoops for most of the overtime, but Plum City had one more. That gave the Blue Devils a 63-61 overtime win over Central.
According to Dunn-St. Croix Conference standings, it would have been an upset if Central had beaten Plum City, because the Blue Devils have a .500 record. Central coach Shannon Berg said Plum City is a team the Panthers can beat.
"Our record doesn't show how good we are," Berg said. "It's frustrating to be so close. Now we've got to learn how to win."
Central led for nearly the entire game, taking a six-point lead into the fourth quarter. In the second quarter Central had led 24-12, but Plum City scored the final eight points of the first half to cut the margin to 24-20 at halftime.
Leading the way for the Panthers was sophomore center Rachel Anderson, who had a huge game. She took advantage of a distinct height advantage in Central's favor. Anderson scored 28 points and hauled down 18 rebounds.
"We kept pounding the ball inside and good things kept happening," Berg said.
Tracy Gillis scored 12 points for the Panthers, including four of the team's eight points in the overtime.
Berg said the Panthers did several things quite well in this game. She said the team had a substantial rebounding advantage and the ball movement on offense was crisp. She saved her highest praise for the defensive effort.
"This was probably our best defense all year for a whole game," she said.
Berg said the only negative to the game was turnovers, with the Panthers giving the ball away 27 times.
The Panthers also survived through most of the fourth quarter without two starters. Point guard Ella Olson fouled out at the start of the fourth quarter and forward Katrina Brummer fouled out with four minutes left in regulation.
The Panther girls will wrap up January with a road game at Pepin on Friday. The Panthers beat Pepin in the first meeting between the two teams this season.
Plum City 63, St. Croix Central 61
ST. CROIX CENTRAL (61)
Gillis 5 2-4 12, Redmon 0 0-0 0, Olson 1 0-0 2, Heinbuch 3 2-4 8, Holzer 0 0-0 0,Kaltenberg 2 1-3 5, Brummer 3 0-2 6, Anderson 12 4-6 28, Strickland 0 0-0 0. Totals 26 9-19 61.
PLUM CITY (63)
Benitz 5 7-12 18, Peterson 2 3-4 7, Kopp 2 2-3 6, Luebker 3 0-3 7, Bechel 1 0-0 2, Madsen 6 3-6 17. Totals 22 15-28 63.
St. Croix Central 12 12 15 14 8 61
Plum City 9 11 13 20 10 63
Three-point goals -- Benitz, Kopp, Luebker, Madsen 2. Fouled out -- Olson, Brummer, Madsen. Total fouls -- St. Croix Central 27, Plum City 17.