Lodi’s free-throws shock Brodhead, 56-48
JANESVILLE Sierra Jiran stepped to the free-throw line as if Lodi High was still shooting around in pregame warm-ups.
In actuality, the Blue Devils trailed by two points with 2.2 seconds left in regulation of a WIAA Division 3 girls sectional semifinal.
Jiran calmly made the free throws—scoring seven of her 11 points in the fourth quarter—and Lodi outscored Brodhead 11-3 in overtime, halting the Cardinals’ bid for their first-ever trip to state with a 56-48 victory at Janesville Craig High School.
“That’s my girl,” Lodi coach Kristi Paskey said. “She’s played for me for four years … and her sophomore year she was in a car accident in the middle of the season and she was out. That made her work harder.
“I knew she was going to make those.”
The Cardinals led by as many as seven points in the fourth quarter and held a six-point lead with just 90 seconds left, but the Blue Devils refused to go away.
Jiran went to the basket and drew a foul, making the shot and converting the three-point play with a free throw. When Brodhead missed a free throw at the other end, Lodi’s Gretchen Schutz drained a 3-pointer to tie the game with 45 seconds left.
Cardinals senior Taylor Douglas made a pair of free throws with 24.4 seconds left, but Jiran answered with her two clutch foul shots at the other end.
“We were 13 for (25) from the free-throw line and a couple of them were bonuses,” Brodhead coach Brad Pickett said. “And we had some looks underneath, and if you can get it inside against the zone, we’ve got to take advantage of those looks. It just didn’t happen.
“They hit big shots the whole night. … They didn’t go away and we didn’t expect them to go away.”
After trading early baskets in overtime, Lodi’s Taylor Baker buried a 3-pointer with just over two minutes remaining and the Blue Devils iced the game at the stripe.
“We’ve had a pretty good season, I would say, and haven’t been ranked and nobody’s really talked about Lodi,” Paskey said. “We’ve constantly said, ‘We believe in you. You’ve got to believe in each other.’”
Cardinals senior Carly Mohns led all scorers with 24 points, while Rachel Heller scored all 10 of her points in the first half. Autumn Paulson led the Blue Devils with 17 points.
Brodhead, ranked fifth in the state, finished the season with a 23-2 record.
“This is a special group,” Pickett said. “This group has played together for a couple years, especially those juniors and seniors.”
Lodi (23-2) plays Nekoosa (19-7) for the Sun Prairie Sectional title on Saturday night.
LODI 56, BRODHEAD 48 (OT)
Brodhead (48)—Heller, 3-2-10; Ahrens, 2-0-4; Duffield, 1-0-3; Amb. Pickel, 0-2-2; Moe, 1-0-3; Douglas, 0-2-2; Mohns, 8-7-24. Totals: 15-13-48.
Lodi (56)—Hick, 4-2-13; Schutz, 2-2-8; Gallagher, 2-0-5; Granath, 0-2-2; Paulson, 3-10-17; Jiran, 4-3-11. Totals: 15-19-58.
Brodhead 10 14 10 11 3—48
Lodi 13 10 6 16 11—56
Three-point goals—Brodhead 5 (Heller 2, Duffield, Moe, Mohns), Lodi 5 (Schutz 2, Gallagher, Paulson, Baker). Free throws missed—Brodhead 12, Lodi 5. Total fouls—Brodhead 21, Lodi 20. Fouled out—Manchester, Jiran, Heller.