Amherst girls steal Cuba City's thunder
Junior guard Jenna Pitt scored with five seconds left as Falcons took down top-ranked Cuba City, 41-37, to win the WIAA Division 3 state championship.
It’s a first-ever title for Amherst, and the Falcons did it with a 27-0 record, while ending Cuba City’s season at 26-1.
Pitt hit an off-balance jumper to give the Falcons a 39-37 lead and sank two free throws with one second remaining to secure the win. She scored eight points and had 10 rebounds overall for the Falcons, who were runners-up to Cuba City in 2007.
Junior guard Megan Moor put the Cubans in position to vie for the victory when she nailed a three-pointer from the right wing to tie the game at 37-37 with 32 seconds to go. And after Pitt’s jumper put Amherst out front, Moor missed the front end of a one-and-one foul situation with four seconds left.
Amherst prevailed despite a scoring drought of 6:47 in the fourth quarter. The Falcons held a 35-27 advantage after Ellen Maves opened the period with a jumper, and didn’t make another basket until Pitt’s game-winner.
Senior center Claire Glodowski scored 12 points and had 10 rebounds in Amherst’s fourth consecutive trip to the state tournament.
The championship was the first in Division 3 tournament history that featured two undefeated teams.
Coach Shelli Haferbecker said winning the title against Cuba City was more satisfying, considering it came against the perennial Division 3 state power.
“It shouldn’t but it probably does make it a little bit more of a great (accomplishment) because Cuba City has been so successful,” Haferbecker said. “But that’s to their credit that it feels that much better to beat them, just because they have such a nice program.”
Moor scored a team-high 11 points for Cuba City, while junior forward Emily Kaiser added 8 and grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds.
The Cubans, who won three straight state titles from 2005-2007, fell short in their bid to clinch a ninth state championship. With eight state titles, Cuba City holds the record for most championships of any team in any division.