OT win keeps Whitewater’s state goal alive
But even when the Whippets missed one, it still turned into something positive.
That, as much as anything, has defined Whitewater’s season: turning bad into good.
After losing star forward Julia Shelbourn—a Nevada-Reno recruit—to a torn ACL in the first game of the season, Whitewater finds itself just one win shy of the state tournament after clinching a 50-48 overtime win Thursday.
How amazing is that? Sophomore guard Brooke Trewyn didn’t take long to respond when asked if she thought the Whippets would be one win away from state when the team was told Shelbourn would miss the season.
“Absolutely not,” said Trewyn.
It was Trewyn who played a major role in the Whippets advancing to the sectional title game. She scored a game-high 16 points and sank 6 of 7 free throws in the fourth quarter and overtime.
“Right when that went down, I thought our season was over,” Trewyn said. “But we really came together as a team, and we worked really hard.
“It’s so great to see that we got this far, and we really want to get to Madison,” she said, “That’s our big goal, so hopefully that comes true on Saturday.”
For that to happen, top-seeded Whitewater (23-2) must beat third-seeded Reedsburg (22-3) in a sectional final at 7 p.m. Saturday at Janesville Craig. Reedsburg won its own thriller on Thursday, topping Baraboo, 56-54, in triple-overtime.
Whitewater took the lead for good against third-seeded Fort Atkinson (15-10) when Nicole Masterson took a pass from Morgan Harty and swished a three-pointer from the top of the key for a 45-42 lead with 1 minute 49 seconds left in overtime.
After an inside bucket by Lauren Pfeifer cut the lead to one, Trewyn calmly sank four free throws sandwiched around one by the Blackhawks’ Marie Fitzgerald to give Whitewater a 49-45 lead with 14.1 seconds to play.
The Whippets made 18 of 22 free throws in the game.
“When it gets (to) crunch time, boy, you’re talking all heart now,” Whitewater coach Judy Harms said. “I thought they played with all kinds of heart on the way down in crunch time.”
By contrast, Fort Atkinson went just 8 of 19 from the line.
“We’ve struggled from the free-throw line throughout the season, hovering around that 54-, 53-percent mark,” said Fort Atkinson coach Scott Lastusky. “We’ve been able to, through all those close wins, (find) ways to hit key shots down the stretch.”
Lexie Weigand led the Blackhawks with 12 points, while Maddie Bare and Pfeifer each added 10.
It was a key rebound that prevented the Blackhawks from having one last shot to win the game.
Bare drilled her fourth three-pointer to make it a 49-48 game, and Harty was fouled with 3.4 seconds left. After sinking the first, Harty bricked the second—not intentionally, Harms insisted—but the awkward rebound found its way back to Harty.
The Whippets called a timeout with 0.3 seconds left, then inbounded the ball as time ran out, and Whitewater’s rooting section stormed the floor.
After leading 24-22 at halftime, Whitewater turned the ball over on five early possessions in the second half. An 11-2 Fort Atkinson surge, capped by Bare’s three from the left wing, gave the Blackhawks the largest lead for either team at 33-26.
Whitewater battled back, though, as Molly Griep scored six of her 12 points in the fourth quarter. The Whippets held a 42-40 lead, but Pfeifer found a soft spot in Whitewater’s zone and drained a clutch jumper with 18.5 seconds left to send it to overtime.
WHITEWATER 50, FORT ATKINSON 48 (OT)
Whitewater (50)—Masterson, 2-3-9; Trewyn, 5-6-16; Griep, 4-4-12; K. Reynolds, 2-0-4; Schumacher, 1-4-6; S. Reynolds, 1-0-2; Harty, 0-1-1. Totals: 15-18-50.
Fort Atkinson (48)—Pfeifer, 5-0-10; Bare, 4-0-12; Fitzgerald, 2-2-6; Hollman, 0-2-2; Foerster, 2-1-5; Weigand, 4-2-12; Bienfang, 0-1-1. Totals: 17-8-48.
Whitewater 12 12 4 14 8—50
Fort Atkinson 14 8 12 8 6—48
Three-point goals—Whitewater 2 (Masterson 2), Fort Atkinson 6 (Bare 4, Weigand 2). Free throws missed—Whitewater 4, Fort Atkinson 11. Total fouls—Whitewater 14, Fort Atkinson 18. Fouled out—None.